We’ve all felt the frustration of visiting a website that is outdated, unsophisticated, and confusing. After time wasted looking for hard-to-find information, users often give up rather than continue searching for what they need.
This is especially troublesome when it comes to benefits websites, mobile apps, and digital benefits materials. A frustrating experience can negatively impact how employees view their benefits and the company in general. Not only will this lead to disengaged employees, but it may also mean higher levels of dissatisfaction and ultimately, turnover.
What makes an online experience better? A well-designed user interface
User interface (UI) design refers to the elements of a website, app, or other interactive materials that allow users to engage with information on a screen. Interacting with a modern, intuitive site can be a satisfying experience. A user-friendly approach to design helps participants find what they need quickly and easily and feel more connected to the experience.
Why do we need UI design?
Research has shown that visual aids increase our ability to retain information by 400%. That’s a big deal! By using visual structure and style, UI design makes it easier for people to navigate and understand their benefits program. When interactive materials are displayed in a way that grabs a user’s attention, the information is more likely to be read and remembered. This leads to employees making better informed decisions about their health and wellness in all areas.
The recipe for an effective UI
Effective UI components include an organic mix of interactive design, visual design, and content architecture to catch the eye and guide the user.
Interactive design focuses on how a user will engage with various mediums, such as websites, apps, or benefit guides. With the evolution of technology, it is important to keep up with current trends, while including standard features that the user will recognize.
Tip: UI is all about the user. Routinely assess what’s working and what isn’t for your population. Adjust and update materials, where needed, to enhance the user experience.
Visual design encompasses three major elements: color, font, and image. Use these essential features to create a visual hierarchy – one that guides a viewer through the materials and highlights key information.
Tip: Sometimes more isn’t merrier. The use of white space is an underutilized design option. Include ample white space to add balance, reduce visual fatigue, and bring focus to areas of interest.
Content architecture guides the user through the information presented. The best path is comprised of a structure that is organized, accessible, and clearly labeled. This includes using various header sizes and colors that complement the body copy. Headers, callouts, images, and content should flow seamlessly with other elements, such as icons, buttons, menus, calls to action, and white space.
Tip: Keep callouts to a minimum. When you emphasize everything, you emphasize nothing.
We are creatures of habit
As consumers, we’ve come to appreciate a well-designed user interface, and we expect to see continual improvement. However, it’s important that the experience feels familiar to the user. For example, we are accustomed to seeing a menu icon represented by three lines or dots in the upper right corner of our mobile devices, apps, or websites. A change in the location of that symbol would cause unnecessary confusion. What we want most is intuitive design that helps us interact with the information we need, efficiently and effectively.
Well-designed user interface is possible. By incorporating these best practices, your benefits site can go from so-so to so good!
- Use elements that are consistent and familiar to the user. This reinforces brand identity and gives the user a clear path to follow.
- Simplicity rules! Keep your layout and the language simple. This will result in a UI that is easy to understand and navigate without being overwhelming.
- Apply color and white space thoughtfully, to draw the user’s attention to the most important elements.
- Format headers, callouts, and buttons in a larger format to attract attention and enhance readability of the content.
As always, when creating employee benefit materials, consider your audience. Design formats that will give employees the information they need in an engaging and interactive way. Your employees will feel a sense of satisfaction and confidence, knowing that they have all the tools they need at their fingertips.
Ready to get started? Reach out to our team.