Share, , Google Plus, Pinterest,

Print

Posted in:

The toss up between features and user experience

The primary goal of marketers and website owners is to increase user engagement. Recent studies suggest that websites that are more accessible have higher user engagement. While there are several solutions that can make a website more accessible, like reducing the website load time, adding support for mobile and tablets and improving navigation, a common point of debate has been whether to add more functionality in order to make the website feature rich or to make the website design simple by trimming out features and functions and thus sacrificing on content.

While adding features and giving the user more options to choose from is certainly valued, having too many of them complicates the website interface, resulting in frustration and hurting user experience. Having more choices may result in “feature bloat” and doesn’t alway lead to higher satisfaction.

On the other hand, aiming for a minimalist style by cutting down on important features might “oversimplify” the website and negatively affect its usability. Every technique employed to simplify, may introduce hidden complexity, for  example, replacing labels with icons adds a learning step for the user making the site less accessible.

Walkme provides a nifty innovation in this direction. It is an interactive online guidance and engagement platform. It guides users through a series of interactive tip balloons overlaid on the screen, with tasks broken down into short, step-by-step guided instructions. Being interactive and  easy to follow, it aids a quick on-boarding of users, at the same time eliminating the frustration of going through lengthy product videos or digging through instruction manuals, thereby improving the overall customer experience.

What we really need to is strike a balance between the ever-growing list of features and simplicity, by carefully analyzing the most important parts and replacing multiple options with a single task-focused control which has a consistent and clear action. At the same time, we need to enhance the user experience by deploying innovative technical tools.