User Experience with a Focus on Millennials

Millennials are a group of people with birth years in the general range of 1981-2001. Within that group, there are two segments. Generation Y are those born between 1981-1991 while Generation Z are those born between 1991-2001.  Both segments were born into a world filled with technology. Gen Y had cell phones, video games, and personal computers. Gen Z grew up with smartphones, apps, and tablets. Regardless of being Y or Z, millennials are tech-savvy consumers with digital expectations and demands that have stimulated waves of increasingly sophisticated technology.

It seems everyone has an opinion about millennials and they often get a bad rap because they are different for lack of a better word. These young people need only to ask a couple of baby boomers how their elders described them back in the day to feel better about the general perception of their age group. That being said, the purchasing influence of millennials is more significant than that of most other groups, especially in regards to ecommerce.

With an annual purchasing power in excess of $200 billion U.S., the sophisticated expectations of a typical millennial in regards to web experience become an important factor in how brands choose to engage their online customers and encourage ongoing business relationships. The abundance of choices on the Internet, social media platforms, and other marketing channels increase the priority level of employing a design that speaks to this generation that has been raised on technology.

Millennials, as a cohort, are skeptics who are used to questioning everything they see and hear. This is a group of individuals who seek guidance from the online reviews and recommendations of other consumers. They will also quite willingly share their own experiences be they good, bad, or somewhere in-between. A poor consumer experience can go viral in a matter of minutes and is estimated to have cost businesses upwards of $40 billion every year.

While we all want to provide the best possible user experience to consumers who visit our websites, social profiles, and online stores, a little extra attention to the needs and wants of millennial users will go a long way. Here are some things to keep in mind!

A mobile-friendly site is non-negotiable and beyond that, top-notch mobile user experience is key. Offer a mobile-first design that ensures your website displays properly on all mobile devices. While the core content of your site should be the same regardless of desktop or mobile, the actual mobile user experience needs to be swipe and tap friendly.

Intuitive and easy site navigation is another key component. Keep users engaged with your site by limiting the layers of navigation you offer. Simplify things by eliminating desktop navigational elements that are unnecessary for mobile users. And while there are some naysayers regarding the hamburger menu, it is an essential element for quick mobile navigation.

Keep your site design on the basic and almost minimalist side of things. This will help users handle interruptions like an incoming call or prompt from one app or another. The easier it is for users to return to your site and pick up where they left off, the more likely it is they will accomplish whatever their original mobile page goal was.

Optimizing load speed is imperative whether it is your webpage, a video, or what have you. Asking millennials to wait, for anything, would be like asking those of us who have worked our way up to 5G performance speed to return to the days of dial-up connections. To keep any of your visitors from leaving your site, ensure that your products load quickly if not instantaneously.

Sometimes, customers service means self-service. We’d all love to have a budget that would allow us to offer real-time customer service from a human being 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Fortunately, millennials tend to be perfectly happy with self-service approaches to customer service. Whether they send a message, click a call to action, or engage with a chatbot, the instant gratification is more important than most other aspects of customer service. Not to mention that millennials are quite willing to look through available resources to solve issues on their own instead of having to wait for someone else to help them.

Your brand can easily facilitate this type of service by offering regularly monitored discussion forums. Self-help tutorials and troubleshooting videos are additional tools that tend to be a big hit. A well fleshed out Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page rounds out these offerings to make sure you are providing efficient resources that millennials, and others, can access any time they need them.

Whether or not to download an app should always be a choice, not a demand. Avoid forcing consumers to download an app in order to interact with your brand. Feel free to tout the advantages of utilizing a brand-based app, but acknowledge that some people’s phones are so overloaded with apps that they have to prioritize at some point. It doesn’t make sense to lose business because you’ve chosen to block people from viewing your content until it is downloaded. If a download is absolutely necessary to facilitate interaction, take whatever steps are necessary to reduce the burden and get people quickly from the discovery phase to the interaction phase.

A secure, simple, and efficient purchasing process is essential. A clean, easy to navigate check-out regardless of the device being used will minimize shopping cart abandonment rates and increase conversion rates. A variety of payment options should be available. For the technology-based millennials, mobile purchasing is a must and mobile wallets are a preference. The better equipped you are to grow with and incorporate new technology as it becomes available, the better the user experience you will provide to your consumers.

Offer seamless experiences that not only acknowledge but embrace the fact that users often begin a task on one device and complete the task on another device. A generation born with technology, Millennials wouldn’t necessarily think that starting a train commute means it is time to disconnect from the digital world. They are more likely to think that it is time to switch to a device more compatible with the environment. As such, it is critical that the design of your website, ecommerce, etc. allow a user to seamlessly move from one device to another.

Gone are the days of multiple versions of a site to suit either desktop users or mobile device users. Consistency in design for different devices is critical for seamless transitions. Most website hosting platforms provide responsive designs that provide a certain amount of continuity so users may start a task on a given device, pause their efforts, and pick up the task on a different device.


2019 and beyond will see advancements in the world of user experience design. A mobile-friendly website with intuitive navigation and optimized load speed is key. Self-service customer assistance options, the choice of brand-based apps, and an efficient purchasing process will assuage the needs and expectation of the tech-savvy millennials. A seamless experience across devices will seal the deal.

The team at Strategy Driven Marketing thrives on the challenge of keeping their collective thumb on the pulse of digital and marketing trends. We can help your brand make the most of your online presence by helping you create and maintain a website with amazing user experience for not only millennials but all segments of your target audience. Contact us today to get started!

Cover photo by Helena Lopes from Pexels