Robin Schreiner / writing

Empty States – the overlooked UX-Hero

What could make a better topic for my first entry than ... empty states?

Empty States – the overlooked UX-Hero

Empty states are often overlooked or forgotten in the design process, but they can be real drivers of substantial value, and if done right, contribute to an overall more compelling user experience.

What Is an Empty State?

Empty states they moments in a user’s experience where there is no content or data to display (yet). This can happen when a user opens an app or website for the first time, tries to search for something but gets no results or experiences a hiccup while using the interface.

Take for example a messaging app. If you initially open the app, there is no message yet. There are multiple options how such a state can be handled.

Empty space can be considered a way to communicate with the user about something useful for example an action to resolve the empty state. A thoughtfully designed empty state helps guide the user and offers a straightforward direction to proceed, whereas a poorly designed empty state can lead to confusion or frustration.

Types of empty sates

As mentioned there are different types of empty states. Here are 3 of the most common types that I found in the projects a work in before:

How Does Empty State Impact the UX

There are multiple ways in which a well-designed empty state enhances the user experience of your application.

Tipps for better empty states

Examples of good empty states

Sample of good empty states

Sample of good empty states

Sample of good empty states


Even when overlooked before (I do it all the time… 🙄) try to start your designs with an empty state and continue from there.

Bonus: I created my own little checklist to remind my self of important that might otherways get missed. Its based on this one here:

Portrait of Robin Schreiner

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