Designing Websites That Connect with the Millennial Crowd


They know how to tinker with gadgets they’ve held for the first time; they can communicate in acronyms and abbreviations that bend the basics tenets of grammar; they can make a meme go viral within hours via the smartphones glued to their hands.

Say what you will about the quirks of this generation, but millennials are moving towards a position where they can and will reshape the world economy.

This generation-born within the period of 1980 to 2000-is entering its prime purchasing years. In fact, study shows that 2017 is the year millennials will outspend the baby boomers. On top of that, they are also projected to comprise half of the global workforce by 2020.

These are facts that would affect the way businesses run, how marketers position their products or services, and how designers create a user experience that will cater to the millennial needs.

Millennials grew up in a world shaped by rapid technological advancements. The younger millennials do not even have memories of a world that is not easily connected to the internet by way of smartphones and tablets.

For a designer to connect with the millennial crowd, there are rules you need to keep in mind:

Speak Our Language, Fam

Human psychology plays a huge part in UX design. You need to be able to essentially get inside their heads – what is their thought process and corresponding actions? How do they feel given a particular situation?

Look beyond superfluous hashtags they use in abundance on social media or the excessive sharing of cat videos (but if that’s your business, go ahead). Like every age demographic, this generation would come with their own unique personality UX-wise.

That said, millennials are more inclined to engage and even purchase when they feel like they connect with brands on a personal level.

Social media engagement can help establish a closer relationship with your followers, seeing how this generation is both tech-savvy and socially connected (at least, online). They also look for customized experience, so take advantage of content (e.g. emails) that would make them feel like you are talking to them directly. Give them that human connection.

However, make sure that your engagement does not sound fake. These are very discerning users. They can smell clickbait from a mile away, and they can tell if you do not appear authentic or your message does not sound natural.

Simple and Smooth AF Encounter

Growing up in a high-tech world means millennials have zero chill when it comes to looking for other options, especially when their experience with you isn’t simple and seamless.

As such, these are people to not be trifled with when it comes to UX. They have low tolerance for apps or websites that do not conform to a general ease of use. While they can, for example, figure out a clunky website, efficiency is still the name of the game.

They will not hesitate to look for alternatives; anywhere (possibly your competitor) that would give them instant gratification. Easy, efficient, and fast are keys to giving them this.

And it’s not just a matter of appeasing their demands. Seeing as millennials are starting to increase their purchasing power, this would also affect a business’ bottom line. The longer they stay on your website, the more they will likely engage and/or purchase.

You Defo Want to Make It Mobile

According to research, 80% of millennials own a smartphone, as opposed to 68% of the Gen X crowd and 40% of the baby boomers. 41% of millennials even opt for cellphones than landlines.

That said, with them being the first generation to be considered digital natives, designers need to make sure that websites properly load and function on mobile devices.

Here are some things to keep in mind when designing a mobile website:

  • Improve the CRO of the mobile site. This includes faster loading times, limiting number of words on page titles, removing chunky paragraphs and breaking them down to smaller ones, and simplifying your landing pages.
  • Make sure the quality of your site is the same across all devices, be it mobile, desktop or tablets. The core features and content of the website should be parallel to all devices to minimize confusion.
  • Simplify your navigation to keep them engaging with your website.
  • Create simple-to-follow CTAs.

Gotta Lurve Social and Sharing

This is the second thing millennials love next to their phones and tablets: social media.

This study shows that those aged 16 to 30 with internet access spend nearly one day per week on social media using their phones. That is 3.1 hours a day, 21.7 hours per week glued to the screens of their smartphones. It also does not come as a surprise that the same study found 71% of millennials browse social media on a daily basis.

The social media behavior of millennials – what makes them share, comment, like, tell their networks about a brand, etc. – is one of the most sought-after data especially for brands who want to connect to millennials.

Here are things you need to do in order to engage them on social media:

  • Be where they are. Millennials hear about products, sales, and shopping deals primarily through social media, so make sure you are there. Know which platform your target market uses. In this case, millennials spend more time on Facebook, distantly followed by Snapchat and Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
  • Provide social buttons. Remember how millennials like ease of access? When they find your website content worthy to be shared, make sure you have the avenue for it right there. Sharing buttons for your blog posts, for example, should be a mainstay of your site.
  • Positive presence on social media. This generation does not have issues posting their thoughts online or air their complaints directly to brands, either by tagging them on social media or posting reviews. Learn how to properly engage customers on social media. Answer their queries promptly. Post relatable or funny content that are still in keeping with your brand.

Provide Self-Service Solutions On Your Site

Make sure that part of the basic elements of your design is a motely of self-service solutions for the millennials. While they do appreciate always-available customer service, they actually prefer to be on the driver’s seat when it comes to resolving purchasing issues.

This means they want to be able to solve their problems without asking for help from another person, be it through phone calls, live chat, or sending emails. To do this, you can provide:

  • A well-monitored discussion forum where the community members are actively posting and sharing their experiences.
  • A comprehensive FAQ page.
  • Blog posts that cover some self-help tutorials and basic troubleshooting.

Having these resources would cut back the time needed for millennials to resolve their issues, as opposed to waiting for a reply from the company.

Long story short: Millennials don’t want basic UX; they high-key want it lit. So make sure your website aesthetic is on point. If you got all that, then you’re on your way to making sure your #UXGameStrong.

How would you approach your millennial audience with your design? Let us know in the comments, fam!

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