Sandra Stepien Team : Web Design

Why you shouldn’t ignore empty state design

Sandra Stepien Team : Web Design

The Power of First Impressions

An empty state occurs when there is simply no data or content to display. It is often the thing you design last but it plays a critical role in the user journey.

When do empty states occur?

  1. New users
  2. The user has cleared their data eg. empty inbox
  3. There’s been an error eg. 404 pages

In each situation, users need to know what happened, why it happened, and how they can move forward.

How to fill an empty state

A good empty state will:

  1. Educate
    Help new users get comfortable by setting expectations for what’ll happen with sample data or tell seasoned users what and why something has happened with simple and straight to the point copy.

  2. Delight
    Empty states should be a pleasant surprise. Recognise users accomplishments or bring empathy when appropriate. Don’t be afraid to add personality and be different. If your empty state is a little different from your competition, you’ve shown the user that your entire experience is fresh and new.


  3. Prompt
    Make sure your users know what their next steps should be. Compel and encourage them with a prominent CTA button.

Ultimately, your empty state should never feel empty. It is full of potential to build rapport, educate, entertain, and motivate action.