UX Principle #4 - Status and feedback. Reduce cognitive load by keeping users updated.

Updated: Nov 20, 2018

In case you missed it, yesterday we talked about how a website with a clean and simple design works really well if you’re selling a product concept.

Today we’re discussing status and feedback. In other words, how to reduce cognitive load by keeping your users informed of what’s going on at a particular moment in time.

How many times have you clicked on a link or call to action and nothing appears to be happening? *tumbleweed moment*. It’s frustrating right? Correct! It leads to rage clicks and drop offs. In today’s world people are not as forgiving or as patient as they once were. When you fail to keep your users informed, you’ll lose them, it’s that simple.

So, here’s what you need to do. Give your users feedback on what is happening with the system. Microinteractions are a good way to help with that.

Image source: Cut Copy Share Delete By Srikant Shetty.

When it comes to status updates, it can be as simple as displaying a progress bar, people are more patient when they know what’s happening and this simple step will reduce rage clicks, drop offs, frustration and increases overall customer satisfaction.

Feedback is equally important. When I say feedback, I mean signal to the user that the task is complete. Take UBER for example. After the user selects a destination or pick-up location, the phone very subtly vibrates to indicate that the request has been registered. That’s feedback.

Apple Pay also does this, that little ‘ding’ you hear sounds when the transaction is complete so you can remove the device and get on with your day.

Remember, always show the status and indicate when a task has been registered or completed.

Check back in on Sunday, we’ll be talking about how to automate and reduce effort.


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