Zero States Don’t Understate

Zero states are the messages that our apps tell us when we haven’t made anything yet, our lists are done, our notifications are all read, or when our searches have no results. As app designers, we often focus on giving the user what they needed so we don’t talk much about what happens when there is nothing to give. And nothing isn’t a bad place to be.

BambooHR does a great job telling you that zero is good

Don’t get hung up on showing nothing to your users. Some apps should always give something (think searching on Amazon on Google), others should be more responsible and stop showing things (endless social media and YouTube videos) but most of the time users want to know that they’ve ACCOMPLISHED getting to nothing! This can be super important part of their workflow.

So the next time you’re designing an interface that can have “one or more” somethings show up, take a step back and consider what you’d like to communicate to your users if there aren’t any to show. It could be a good time to relax and let your hair down with something funny, congratulate your users, ask them to create, or point them to another aspect of the app that needs their attention. You should never leave someone wondering, “huh, so I guess there aren’t any then?”

Need some inspiration? Check out what dribble has here.