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Irresistible UI

Understanding what factors affect user interactions is critical in creating the best user interface for them. I have found that there are three specific factors that drives users, and not all of these factors are applicable, it entirely depends on the purpose of the website or application.

Milestones

A goal and small milestones are important, this is especially true for those websites that are built for teaching and learning. For instance, a Math learning platform for kids that is called, Mathletics, provides a way for kids to practice their problem solving skills, however, to encourage kids to feel that they have achieved a certain level of mastery, they are awarded with a kind of reward, these can come in virtual badges.

By using this mechanism, unconsciously kids are motivated to be better, and they are able to compare themselves with their peers. Thus, allowing them to be better. When a goal or a certain milestones are set, for the appropriate purpose of the application, it can provide designers a tool to help their users be better. Remember, an ideal milestone should be small, but when aggregated over a period of time can be substantial.

Progress

Progress can be related to milestones, because when you have reached a certain milestone, there is a progress in your journey using the application. Why is progress another factor when its the same as milestones? Although milestones are set for the users to reach them, you would need to show the users the progress on how far they have come to reach the milestones. This is true when you are creating games.

Games that involves story and progress, usually comes equipped with Memoir or a Journal, which summarizes the story, however, another purpose to it is to show the players on how far they come in their progress in completing the game. Providing a way for user on their progress, gives them a way to be engaged on your application, which will retain them and not abandon the time and effort that they have placed in your application.

Feedback

Feedback is an important factor when creating a good user interface, as we can see today. When an application uses the right amount of feedback based on a user’s action, it feels more premium, especially that like click or tap on Instagram, when that heart pops up, this makes you constantly engaged. By providing a good amount of feedback, users know that their action do have an effect, and this keeps the user keep on going.

An example, that uses feedback brilliantly is a bidding application, the idea of paying virtually almost nothing to get an expensive item is very alluring, but there is a catch, you would need to compete. And when you bid you get that feedback of almost getting the item you want, however the moment, where there is only 15 seconds left on the clock and you thought you almost had the item, it resets because someone outbid you, the ‘almost-win’ situation, makes most of us wants to keep on going.

As you can see that, using the right amount of feedback will keep the user engage in your application, this depends on the purpose of the application, and it may vary differently among each circumstances.

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Vincent HalimIrresistible UI
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