Design vs UX for Membership Sites


We’ve spent a lot of time designing membership sites over the years.

While it’s easy to assume that design is super important, the reality is that it’s not. In fact, data has shown us that design is almost always a secondary “cherry on top” growth driver. It doesn’t push your business forward like you might think, especially in the early days.

This is actually why we built the member(dev) platform. We’ve spent thousands of hours designing custom sites and experiences, which clients have paid a lot of money for. Our platform offering can stand up to any of those sites in terms of growth potential without the heavy upfront cost of a custom design.

That said, let’s talk more about design.

Design is subjective
  • Our opinions on design is very subjective (some have strong feelings, some don’t care at all).
  • It’s easy to be fooled into thinking you need a unique design, but it’s actually quite the opposite. People want familiarity, not a brand new experience to figure out.
  • To that point, UX is key!
Intuitive UX is Key
  • Intuition = the ability to understand something immediately
  • The best user experiences are simple and easy
  • This is why many online companies copy existing companies that already have proven UX
Confusion & Frustration = Lost customers
  • If people get confused or frustrated they leave. Period.
  • We [humans] have short attention spans, so we’re not willing to sit around and figure things out. They have to be easy.
  • Think about your own experiences with customer support. It’s super frustrating when you have to jump through hoops to achieve something. You’d rather quit and look for something else.

Going back to our platform offering, we’ve included this thought process in the design. It’s a simple and easy to use experience for your members, which leaves them confident in following their intuition. There’s no guess work.

At some point your business may require a custom design and user experience. There is a time and place for that. But most people will do just fine with our platform and a simplified UX.

I hope this has been helpful!

Ali Jafarian

Ali is the founder of MemberDev. He's a serial entrepreneur and software engineer with over 15 years of experience building technology. Ali's spent the last decade focusing on membership websites and the subscription business model. He enjoys helping small businesses with early stage development and growth.

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