As an 80’s child working in UX, I work with websites day in and day out, listen to clients needs, observe and interact with end users, work out solutions, sketch them out, communicate ideas & suggestions and constantly look at new research and explore trends.
Through all of this, we’re seeing the rise of the “Millennial’s” – those born in the noughties with higher than high expectations of your website. Some class Millennial’s as those born in the early 80’s through to early 2000s, so arguably I could fall under this category myself. Which I’m delighted about quite frankly.
The Millennial’s know nothing other than a world where everything is a quick Google search away. They’ve always had immediate Internet access. They have never had to use the Encarta 95 disk you got free with your big clunky desktop computer as a source of information for a school project. I did…I’m not proud of it, stop judging me.
What also needs to be considered is device usage – they are likely to use mobile devices more frequently, making this a very important platform to consider to reach them.
Younger relatives always impress me. I asked my 15 year old brother to let me hear him playing the piano and the next morning, he sent me a YouTube video, shot from different angles, so as to put himself in playing two instruments at the same time – show off. Check it out, it’s pretty good!
With all this in mind, we’re seeing 5 key behaviours amongst the “Millennial’s” in our recent research:
Refusal to “dig” – In recent user testing projects speaking to users between the ages of 19 – 25, I’ve repeatedly seen low tolerance for “digging” for content. If your content isn’t clearly labelled, they are going to leave your site and Google a term to find what they’re looking for more quickly.
Sleek design and imagery are a must – These users are going to quickly label your site, and potentially brand, as “dated” if it’s not on trend.
A range of content is needed to engage them – They want to see imagery, videos, infographics, animations and quizzes if appropriate.
Concise and clear copy to grab them – They are likely to be quickly turned off by screeds of text and heavy paragraphs. Break up pages well with imagery or video where relevant and apply writing for the web principles.
Show a bit of personality – They want to know who you are and what your brand is about. Don’t be afraid to use inviting and relaxed language, if it works for the brand.
I should say, that some of the greatest web whiz kids have been those that I’ve observed during accessibility testing. Seeing how quickly screen reader users navigate the web in general and overcome the many barriers in their way created by poor mark up and labelling is quite something. Accessibility is key.
Whilst we see these behaviours strongly in younger users, we do see them time and time again across a range of age groups. Good points to keep in mind in the development of any website.