A well thought out design focuses the attention of the user to partake in a particular action. It could be as simple as having the user read content or sign up for a newsletter. Whatever the purpose, there is a right way to present content for maximum user engagement. Explore these highly effective cases for increasing user engagement.
1. Less is more
All good designs focus on a purpose. In designing for user engagement, don’t add anything that may subtract focus from whatever action you want the user to take. For example, Amway built a great layout on its company blog that guides users in finding the content they want to read. It has a simple header layout that displays the main categories of content and how to search for content.
Build a layout that makes it easy for users to find what they are looking for. The easier you make it for them, the more enjoyable and seamless their browsing experience will be.
2. Rule of thirds
Always present content in a way that makes browsing as much fun as reading the content. One way to do this is to present the content in thirds. Keep the content tight in structure so you don’t waste valuable real estate. You don’t want to make users browse too far by scrolling just to see all of the message, such as the title and body content.
Focus the user’s eyes on three elements:
- Picture (if applicable): Colorful, engaging and relevant
- Title: Impactful, short and concise
- Body: No more than two to four sentences should show
A good way to present content using the rule of thirds is to think about the content as a billboard ad. Eyes fixate first on the picture or background, then go straight for the title or main punchline. If they are engaged, they will then read the subtitle or body. Give users a chance to digest the available content without feeling bombarded or distracted by seeing too much displayed on the page. Additionally, the rule of thirds is a versatile design approach that’s great for presenting content, features and highlights.
3. Use pictures wisely
In the era of Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest, it’s easy to see why pictures makes for great engagement. Choosing the right picture is probably more important than the content itself. A recent study by technology giant Microsoft states that the average attention span of adults is roughly eight seconds or less. This means that while they browse your homepage or blog page, their eyes are probably fixating on all of the most interesting and relevant pictures they can see. If your content allows for a featured image, make sure to choose one that counts.
A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself:
- Is the picture highly relevant?
- Is the picture interesting enough to stand alone without the content?
- Does the picture make the user want to click?
You’ve heard that a picture is worth a thousand words. Choose a picture that speaks for the article before the user even reads it. There are a ton of a great sources to find stock photos that can accomplish the job.
4. Bigger typography is better
Since more and more people are engaging and reading content using their smartphones than ever before, your audience’s collective attention span is as short as the time it takes to swipe up and swipe down. The best way to create content fitted for mobile is to increase the typography for both the title and body, much like seeing an ad on a billboard. Keep the title short and concise, making it highly relevant and catchy enough for the reader to click on it.