UX Power Up: User Engagement

If you could summarize the goal of your user experience efforts, the term user engagement would come up. Engagement is how we stay connected to our users interests, motivations and goals. In this week’s UX Power Up, Frank covers two UX Design elements that define engagement.

Transcript of video above…

User Engagement 

Frank Spillers here, founder of Experience Dynamics, and it’s time for this week’s UX Power Up.   

So today’s topic I’d like to talk about User Engagement.  
Now user engagement is, quite simply, getting a users attention and keeping it.  So anything that helps a user stay focused on a page or screen that they are working on; anything that helps identify their target – whether it’s a button or a menu or other item or element on the screen; anything that retains their ability to stay focused within the task and continue that flow is crucial.  

So we used to call it “stickiness” or “keeping eyeballs” or keeping customers or users on a page, the term that’s used these days is engagement.  Now this actually is also a metric that Facebook is using and actually just calls it Engagement.  So in social media engagement is the term that used to judge or gauge how well our users are responding – through views or likes or posts and so-forth and so-on. 

Now there are two ways that I think of when I think of user engagement that are the most critical as I’m designing.  
The first one is to deliver on users tasks.  So if you give users what they want – there is something about that that you get their attention.  Funny how that works, now we call that desirability.  Giving users, fulfilling on their desires and needs, and those get translated into tasks on a screen.  
The second way is – and this is really underlying user engagement – is to deliver on emotional value.  So, emotional value is what a user gets from that experience.  In other words, find out what it is that’s the compelling aspect of your user experience.  What are the features that really get a users attention?  What are the things that they need in order to do their work?  Especially in B2B context. What are the things that satisfy them… where they generate a lot of emotional vale and fulfill on those.  

One of the interesting examples that came from the ecommerce world was REI.  They took the bottom of their shoes of boots and they showed you the actual sole of boot.  Another example came from Lululemon Athletica‎, who showed you the fiber in-seam stitch of their yoga clothing.  The thing about those two things from an engagement standpoint is, those things are actually really compelling.  Instead of judging a hiking boot or looking at a pair of yoga pants – the things that were really important that delivered the emotional value were:  “What’s the sole look like?” and “What do the seams look like?” and those things are actually really really important in the purchase decision for those specialized product audiences.  

The point here of user engagement is to induce motivation.  That means staying on page, so users time on page, because they actually want to be there.  It means returning, so an intention to return is strengthened.  I like to say “follow the motivation”, in terms of your user engagement strategy.  Lots of things you can do improve user engagement, those are just two general design principles. Have fun applying them. We’ll see you on a future UX Power Up. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.



Recent Posts

Scroll to top

Get a quote or discuss your project

Tell us about your project

Arrange a 30 min call

Project in mind?


Fight for the rights of your users. We'll show you how.

Read more articles like this for exclusive insights into the best ways to approach UX and Service Design challenges. Find out when events occur first. Privacy protected, no exceptions.

Subscribing indicates your consent to our Privacy Policy

Should we add you to our email list?

Privacy protected-You can unsubscribe at any time.

Download the Better UX kit