HomeUI/UXHow to Create Engaging Empty and Error States for Your Website or...

How to Create Engaging Empty and Error States for Your Website or Application

Empty and error states are critical in improving the user experience across many digital platforms. These are inconsequential instances when an app or website fails to provide intended content. In some cases, websites encounter an issue that can influence user engagement. Understanding the significance of empty and error states is critical for developing a fluid and user-friendly experience.

The key purpose of building engaging empty and error states is to ensure that users feel supported and empowered even when things go wrong. Designers successfully express the status of an application or website. They provide useful assistance. Also, developers maintain a favorable user perception. They do this by using smart and visually attractive empty and error states.

This blog will look at the importance of empty and error states in user interface design. Along with this, we will see ways to build interesting experiences. We will also review the advantages of free SVG icons to improve the aesthetic appeal and deliver relevant information in empty and incorrect situations. 

Empty and Error States

Understanding Empty States

Empty states are UI or UX design components that appear when no data or content is displayed in an application or interface. Empty states are used to guide and inform users about the program’s state. They provide useful instructions or ideas. It also reduces misunderstanding or frustration when facing empty screens or sections. They strive to improve the user experience by offering context and actionable alternatives. This allows users to explore and engage with the program more efficiently.

Some examples of common empty state:

  • Empty Search Results: An empty state can be presented when a user makes a search query that produces no matching results. It instructs the user on alternate actions or refining their search parameters.
  • Empty Inbox: In email or messaging programs, an empty state displays when no messages are in the inbox. It urges the users to perform tasks such as drafting a new message or importing contacts.
  • Blank State in Data Entry: When users first begin using a form or application that requires data entry, an empty state might give instructions or placeholder text to aid them in filling up the needed information.
  • Initial Onboarding:  When a user registers for a new application or service, empty states lead them through the initial setup process or to present essential features and functions.
  • Recently Viewed or History: In apps that track user activity or browsing history, an empty state displays when there has been no recent action, offering suggestions or connections to popular or suggested material.

Key considerations when designing empty states

Several important considerations should be taken into account while constructing empty states. Clear communication is essential for informing users about the empty screen or section. It also directs what steps to take next. Using short and welcoming text that matches the application’s tone helps promote a great user experience. Visual cues such as SVG icons, pictures, or placeholders state the purpose of the screen. It is consistent with the visual style of the program. 

Offering actionable alternatives within the empty state allows users to perform appropriate actions. For example utilizing buttons, links, or search boxes to fill in the content or go to other portions of the application. Also, where feasible, tailoring the empty state to the user’s surroundings or preferences. These are showing tailored recommendations or suggested actions based on past interactions. All of them can improve the user experience. 

Consistency and integration are key concerns. They ensure that the empty states blend in with the program’s design. It must seem like a natural part of the user experience. User testing and feedback are critical for refining and increasing the efficacy of empty states. Analyzing user behavior and replies enables iterative design. It also ensures improvements to better support users’ interactions with the program.

Elements of Engaging Empty States:

Engaging empty states are the screens or states of an application or website that emerge when there is no information or data to display. These stages are significant because they can give a chance to deliver a great user experience. It leads users through the application. 

Here are the aspects that contribute to engaging empty states:

A. Clear messaging and instructions:

Importance of concise and friendly language: When developing empty states, it is critical to use language that is clear, concise, and friendly. The messaging should alert consumers about the lack of information and give comfort or direction.

Providing guidance and next steps: Empty states direct users on what to do next. This might involve proposing activities customers can do. It provides connections to related features or directions on filling the empty state with information.

For example, if the user seeks free SVG icons, the empty state may include a notice such as “No SVG icons found.” 

B. Visual cues and appealing visuals:

Attention to color, typography, and whitespace: Colors can trigger emotions. They can match the overall branding of the program. Typography should be readable and communicate the proper tone. Whitespace may help to establish a feeling of equilibrium and improve the visual appeal of a space.

C. Personalization and context:

Tailoring empty states based on user data: To make empty states more interesting, customize them based on user data. This might include taking into account the user’s preferences. Also, previous behavior or demographic information to provide appropriate material or suggestions.

Utilizing user preferences and behavior: Empty states can leverage the user’s preferences and behavior within the application to deliver tailored suggestions or actions. The empty state can provide appropriate suggestions by utilizing information on what the user generally interacts with.

Enhancing Error States:

Error states are displays or messages that occur when a user encounters an error or problem while using an application or website. These problems range from basic validation mistakes to more serious ones like server faults. Error statuses are important because they affect the user experience. Poorly designed error states can confuse or frustrate users. But, well-designed error states can give clarity, instruction, and comfort.

Types of error states and their impact on user experience:

  • Validation errors: This happens when consumers enter erroneous or missing information. For example, not filling out mandatory fields on a form. Validation failures should identify what went wrong and offer detailed recommendations for correcting the problem. Validation errors that are not handled might cause confusion and irritation.
  • 404 errors: These occur when a user attempts to view a page that does not exist. A well-designed 404 error status should include a clear message describing why the page is unlisted. It must offer ideas for other activities or pages. Also, it should provide a mechanism to go back to a legitimate page. An entertaining 404 error condition may transform a difficult encounter into a chance to display innovation and engage the user.
  • Server errors: These arise when there is an issue with the server or backend infrastructure. Server problems sometimes provide generic error messages such as “Internal Server Error.” To improve the user experience, give a more informative message that explains the problem. It must apologize for the inconvenience. Also, it can advise any required steps, such as calling support or trying again later.

Best practices for designing engaging error states:

There are several excellent practices to consider when building engaging error states. Issue messages should use clear and polite language. It must have concise directions on how to rectify the issue. Visual cues and vector icons can capture attention and express the severity or kind of mistake. It is critical to offer context by discussing the problem’s impact, kind, and pertinent information such as error codes. Providing answers and assistance through concrete steps, instructions, or links is important to help documentation. Consistency in design, including color, font, and layout, ensures that consumers identify the incorrect condition as a part of the system. 

Detecting and correcting recurring errors requires constant testing with actual users. It needs gathering feedback and monitoring error logs and analytics. By implementing these best practices, designers can create error circumstances that provide clarity, support, and a positive user experience. It is important to communicate. It can include visual cues to differentiate. They can provide context to understand and provide solutions to a roadmap. It maintains consistency to increase familiarity and to test to improve. Based on these principles, error statuses represent challenges and aid users in resolving problems. It also provides a pleasant user experience even under challenging conditions. 

Strategies for Engaging Empty and Error States:

Strategies for engaging empty and error situations include incorporating micro-interactions and animations. It provides guidance and support. Doing A/B testing and obtaining user feedback is also part of strategy making.

A. Microinteractions and animations:

Adding subtle animations for feedback: Incorporate small animations in the empty and error stages to offer visual feedback and improve the user experience. These animations include transitions, fades or loading signs to give consumers a sense of responsiveness.

Providing interactive elements to engage users: Include interactive features within empty and error states. These buttons or links allow visitors to take action or explore more. These interactive aspects promote engagement and encourage users to interact with the program. This might contain buttons or links that push visitors to perform certain activities. Like browsing a gallery of free SVG icons or contacting support resources.

B. Offering assistance and support:

Including helpful error messages and suggestions: Make sure that error messages are informative, clear, and useful. Explain the fault in simple terms, offer solutions, and advise on how to proceed.

Integrating links to support resources: Include connections to support resources. These are FAQs, knowledge bases, and customer service contact information. These links give customers extra support choices. Links aid them in finding answers to their difficulties. Locating free vector icons or addressing icon-related concerns are a few examples.

C. A/B testing and user feedback:

Importance of testing different empty and error states: Conduct A/B testing by designing alternative designs for empty and error states and monitoring user reactions. Testing helps you to compare and identify the most engaging and successful designs.

Gathering user feedback to iterate and improve: Seek out user input actively via surveys, user testing sessions, or feedback forms to better understand their experiences and perspectives. Use this input to iterate on the design of empty and error states, making changes depending on user feedback. 


Engaging in empty and error states is vital for a great user experience. Engaging empty states should have a clear message, succinct language, and user direction. Visual signals enhance the aesthetics of the empty state. These are relevant pictures and attention to color and whitespace. Personalization and context are essential for adapting empty states. It depends on user data and preferences. 

Error events need clear and succinct language, visual signals, and feedback to tell users about concerns. It also assists them toward resolution. Help and support options should be available to aid users in troubleshooting. Considering the user context and goals is critical for tailored error messages.

Investing in these stages is critical. They improve user experience, establish trust, and minimize irritation. Well-designed empty and error states add to user pleasure, retention, and good recommendations. Implementing the tactics outlined, such as clear messaging, visual signals, personalization, and recognizing user context, can result in user-friendly experiences. Prioritize engaging in empty and error situations to successfully counsel and serve people even when no content or problems occur.

Bhushan Verma
Bhushan Verma
Optimizing life and web-pages. Either you will find me immersed in the world of images and vectors or watching cricket.
Don't Miss

Related Articles