·

eCommerce

·

Dec 20, 2023

How to boost user engagement with these 10 UX principles

Beatriz tavares guest blog
Beatriz tavares guest blog
Beatriz Tavares

Beatriz Tavares

How to boost user engagement with these 10 UX principles

Ever wonder why some platforms are easy to use while others are overwhelming? Well, the answer lies in applying UX principles. These principles are crucial for improving user experience and increasing conversion rates. 

In this blog post, we will explore various principles by analyzing how Duolingo - the world's leading language-learning platform - uses them in its onboarding process.

Duolingo's onboarding is a great example of user-centric and dynamic design. Rather than presenting users with a series of passive steps, Duolingo engages users in a purposeful conversation that builds a deeper connection between them and the brand.

Why are these principles truly powerful? Their versatility. You can apply them not only to onboarding but also to e-commerce and the creation of strategic pages, such as homepage and landing pages.

UX principle 1: Progressive disclosure

One of Duolingo's key UX principles is progressive disclosure, which gradually reveals information across different screens to prevent users from feeling overwhelmed.

This is similar to telling an exciting story, where information is revealed gradually to keep readers engaged and avoid overwhelming them. Simple features are presented first, followed by more complex ones at the right time.

Now, we will take a closer look at Duolingo's onboarding experience and explore the UX principles they use to create a seamless and engaging user experience.

UX principles 2 - 4: Personality, user-driven prompts, & visual roadmap

Touch of personality:

Duolingo initiates the onboarding process by introducing users to Duo, the friendly mascot.

This introduction adds a touch of personality and establishes an approachable tone for the entire language-learning experience.

User-driven prompt:

Instead of a passive initiation of creating an account, the onboarding process begins with a series of seven questions, where the user deliberately triggers each prompt.

This intentional approach ensures that actions are driven by the user, creating a more natural and engaging experience. Starting with the first question, "What would you like to learn?" immediately makes them think about their language-learning goals.

Visual roadmap:

A dynamic progress bar functions as a visual roadmap, filling up with each completed step. This design element not only tracks accomplishments but also serves as a visual motivator, guiding users with a clear sense of direction and a continuous sense of achievement.

Duolingo - onboarding process

UX principle 5: Goal gradient effect

According to the answers, Duolingo consistently provides positive reinforcement to users through affirmations like “Wow, that's great!”.

Goal gradient effect:

This great use of positive language creates a goal gradient effect - a psychological phenomenon where users are encouraged to continue their efforts as they receive positive feedback.

By incorporating such affirmative statements, Duolingo makes the learning process more educational and emotionally rewarding.

duolingo positive reinforcement, goal gradient effect

UX principles 6 - 8: strategic goal setting, long-term perspective, & simple design

Strategic goal setting:

Duolingo asks users about their daily learning goals. It goes beyond mere acknowledgment when selecting an option (for example, 10 minutes per day) and provides users with tangible benefits.

It states, “That's 50 words in your first week!“ with a personalized touch and shows the learning duration’s immediate outcomes.

Long-term perspective:

The Long Run: Beyond the immediate impact, Duolingo extends the narrative. It gives users a glimpse of what they can achieve over a longer period, by highlighting the key benefits within just three months.

This step serves a dual purpose: it makes the learning journey manageable and rewarding, which ensures that users feel motivated without being overwhelmed.

Simple design:

During onboarding, Duolingo's clean design lets users focus solely on the task.

duolingo strategic goal setting

UX principles 9 - 10: Hick's Law & principle of clarity

Hick's Law:

Hick's Law states that having too many options can lead to harder decisions. Here, Duolingo simplifies the starting point.

Users have two clear options: starting from scratch or letting Duo suggest where to begin. This intentional design adds a personal touch to the user’s experience.

Principle of clarity:

Duolingo smoothly transitions users into their first lesson, eliminating uncertainty about what comes next.

This aligns with the principle of clarity, ensuring users clearly understand the learning format and content.

10 User-centric UX principles: checklist

During onboarding, Duolingo's clean design lets users focus solely on the task.

beatriz tavares

Designing an effective customer experience can be a decisive factor in engaging users with your product or service. As you embark on your user engagement journey, consider this checklist based on Duolingo’s approach, which we explored today.

These 10 UX principles are versatile, extending their applicability beyond onboarding to areas like e-commerce and the development of strategic pages.

  1. Progressive disclosure: Gradually reveal information across different screens to prevent user overwhelm, presenting simple features first and introducing complex ones at the right time.


  2. Personality and approachability: Incorporate unique brand elements such as visual and communicative features to create a sense of personality that connects and relates to users. 


  3. User-driven prompts: To keep users engaged, you can add interactive elements, personalized questions, or scenarios that encourage them to take an active role.


  4. Visual roadmap (Progress bar): Provide users with a clear overview of their journey through a dynamic progress bar. This visual element serves as a motivational tool, offering a sense of accomplishment and direction.


  5. Positive reinforcement (Goal Gradient Effect): Positive reinforcement is the key. Acknowledge and affirm users' decisions, creating a goal gradient effect that will keep them hooked and excited throughout the onboarding journey.


  6. Strategic goal setting: Encourage users to set specific and achievable goals. This way, users can immediately see the value of their choices and be empowered to continue (daily streaks, rewards, badges).


  7. Long-term perspective: It is important to demonstrate how users can benefit in the long run. By taking a long-term view, we can help users stay motivated and engaged, making their journey feel more manageable.


  8. Simple design: Prioritize a clean and simple design for a distraction-free experience. This will allow users to focus only on the primary tasks and empower them to take action towards their goals.


  9. Hick's Law (Simplified starting point): Hick's Law suggests that simplifying choices leads to easy decisions. Presenting users with a limited number of clear options reduces cognitive load and makes the decision-making process more straightforward.


  10. Principle of clarity: Ensure a smooth transition to the main content for a clear user journey. This helps users to easily navigate through the core features or activities, minimizing confusion and providing a clear path forward. 

All of these 10 principles are used by Duolingo to create a positive and engaging customer experience. But these design principles are not limited to apps like Duolingo - they can also be applied to your online store. By applying these user-centric design principles to your homepage or landing pages, you can create a better experience for your eCommerce store's site visitors.

About the author

This guest blog was written by Beatriz Tavares, CRO & Personalization Expert, at NOS SGPS - one of Portugal’s leading telecommunications companies. Beatriz loves traveling, reading, and playing basketball.

Subscribe to the Newsflash

Subscribe to the Newsflash

Weekly Shopify tips from our founder in your inbox. Read in 3-mins or less. Start converting like an eCommerce expert.

Start building now

Explore Instant today to start building high-converting landing pages and sections, no-code required.

Start building now

Explore Instant today to start building high-converting landing pages and sections, no-code required.

Pages

Resources

Company

© Instant

Start building now

Explore Instant today to start building high-converting landing pages and sections, no-code required.

Pages

Resources

Company

© Instant