10 Usability Tips Based on Research Studies

Sep 15 2010 by Cameron Chapman | 95 Comments

10 Usability Tips Based on Research Studies

We hear plenty usability tips and techniques from an incalculable number of sources. Many of the ones we take seriously have sound logic, but it’s even more validating when we find actual data and reports to back up their theories and conjectures.

This article discusses usability findings of research results such as eye-tracking studies, reports, analytics, and usability surveys pertaining to website usability and improvements. You’ll discover that many of these usability tips will be common sense but are further supported with numbers; however, some might surprise you and change your outlook on your current design processes.

1. Forget the "Three-Click Rule"

The idea that users will get frustrated if they have to click more than three times to find a piece of content on your website has been around for ages. In 2001, Jeffrey Zeldman, a recognized authority in the web design industry, wrote that the three-click rule "can help you create sites with intuitive, logical hierarchical structures" in his book, Taking Your Talent to the Web.

Logically, it makes sense. Of course, users will be frustrated if they spend a lot of time clicking around to find what they need.

But why the arbitrary three-click limit? Is there any indication that web users will suddenly give up if it takes them three clicks to get to what the want?

In fact, most users won’t give up just because they’ve hit some magical number. The number of clicks they have to make isn’t related to user frustration.

A study conducted by Joshua Porter published on User Interface Engineering found out that users aren’t more likely to resign to failure after three clicks versus a higher number such as 12 clicks. "Hardly anybody gave up after three clicks," Porter said.

Source: User Interface Engineering

The focus, then, shouldn’t be on reducing the number of clicks to some magically arrived number, but rather on the ease of utility. If you can construct a user interface that’s easy and pleasurable to use, but takes like 15 clicks (e.g. 5 times more than the three-click rule) to achieve a particular task — don’t let the arbitrary three-click rule stop you.

Sources and Further Reading

2. Enable Content Skimming By Using an F-Shaped Pattern

Dr. Jakob Nielsen, a pioneer in the field of usability, conducted an eye tracking study on the reading habits of web users comprising of over 230 participants. What the research study displayed was that participants exhibited an F-shaped pattern when scanning web content.

F-Shaped PatternSource: Alertbox

A similar study, by search marketing firms Enquiro and Did-it in collaboration with eye-tracking research firm Eyetools, witnessed a similar pattern when they evaluated Google’s search engine results page with an eye tracking study that included 50 participants. Dubbed the "Google Golden Triangle" because the concentration of eye gazes tended to be top and left, the results are congruent with the F-shaped pattern seen in Nielsen’s independent research.

Google Golden TriangleSource: Clickr Media

For designers and web copywriters, these results suggest that content you want to be seen should be placed towards the left, and also that the use of content that fits an F-shaped pattern (such as headings followed by paragraphs or bullet points) increases the likelihood that they will be encountered by a user who is skimming a web page.

Sources and Further Reading

3. Don’t Make Users Wait: Speed Up Your Website

We’re always told that our users are impatient: they hate waiting. Well, that’s logical — who likes waiting on purpose? But is there any proof outside of anecdotal evidence that people actually don’t like waiting and that page performance affects website users?

Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, conducted an analysis to see if there are any correlations between page speed versus numerous performance indicators such as satisfaction, revenue generated per user, and clicking speed. The report showed that a less than 2-second increase of delays in page responsiveness reduced user satisfaction by -3.8%, lost revenue per user of -4.3% and a reduced clicks by -4.3%, among other findings. For a company as large as Microsoft, even a 4.3% drop in revenue can equate to multi-million-dollar losses in profit.

Source: O’Reilly Radar

So users, in fact, are impatient: They’re less satisfied and will reduce their number of clicks if they wait too long. And if you care about search engine ranking, then the incentive to improve page response times is even greater since Google now factors page speed in their search ranking.

What can you do to improve page performance? Use tools that will help you find performance bottlenecks, use CSS sprites to improve page speed, and utilize benchmarking tools like YSlow to quickly see where you can make quick front-end optimizations.

Sources and Further Reading

4. Make Your Content Easily Readable

Internet users don’t really read content online, at least according to a study by Dr. Nielsen on reading behaviors of people on his website. His analysis shows that people only read 28% of the text on a web page and decreased the more text there is on the page.

Source: Alertbox

To increase the likelihood of your readers getting the most out of your content, utilize techniques for making content easier to read. Highlight keywords, use headings, write short paragraphs, and utilize lists.

Sources and Further Reading

5. Don’t Worry About "The Fold" and Vertical Scrolling

There has long been a myth that all of your important content should be above "the fold," a term borrowed from newspapers that refers to the area of a web page that can be seen without having to scroll down — first proposed by Jakob Nielsen.

So, are long pages bad? Should we cram everything at the top of our web layouts because people won’t ever read anything below this fold?

The answer is "No" according to a report by Clicktale, a web analytics company. Their results showed that the length of the page has no influence in the likelihood that a user will scroll down the page.

Source: Clicktale

A study reported by Joe Leech of CX Partners, a user centered design agency, indicated that less content above the fold even encourages users to explore the content below the fold.

Source: cxpartners

The main point to take away here is that you shouldn’t stuff all your important content at the top because you fear that users won’t be able to find them otherwise. Use visual hierarchy principles and the art of distinction to prioritize and infer the importance of various elements in your pages’ content.

Sources and Further Reading

6. Place Important Content on the Left of a Web Page

People brought up in cultures where language is read and written from left to right have been trained early on in life to begin at the left of a page, whether in writing or reading a book. This can be the reason why many web users spend a majority of their attention on the left side of a web page — as much as 69% of the time, according to Dr. Nielsen’s eye-tracking study that involved over 20 users.

Source: Alertbox

The same results were reflected on websites whose language were read from right to left, such as Hebrew and Arabic sites, with the results inverted (higher attention on the right side versus the left).

There are two things to take away from this result. First, the language of your site matters when thinking about layout considerations; when designing websites you should consider cultural design considerations. Secondly, for sites that are traditionally read from left to right, placing important design components at the left is a good idea; vice versa for sites whose language is read from right to left.

Sources and Further Reading

7. Whitespace of Text Affects Readability

Easy readability of text improves comprehension and reading speed as well as enhancing the likelihood that a user will continue reading instead of abandoning the web page. There are many factors that influence ease of readability, including font choices (serif versus sans-serif), font-size, line-height, background/foreground contrast, as well as spacing.

A study on readability tested reading performance of 20 participants by presenting them with the same text blocks having different margins surrounding the text as well as varying line-heights (the distance between lines of text). It showed that text with no margins was read faster, however, reading comprehension decreased. Faster reading speeds when the text had no margins can be explained by the text and paragraphs being closer together, resulting in less time needed to move the eyes from line to line and paragraph to paragraph.

Source: Software Usability Research Laboratory

As this particular study shows, the way we design our content can greatly impact the user’s experience. Be wary of the details: color, line-heights, tracking, and so forth and be mindful of sound typography principles for the web to ensure that you’re not discouraging your users from reading your content. Furthermore, study the effective use of negative space in web design.

Sources and Further Reading

8. Small Details Make a Huge Difference

Too often, we look at the big picture when creating a web design and ignore the little things when we’re in a time crunch. We forego any thought put into the wording of something, or the design of a single button on a form if time and resources are limited. There are so many other things we need to think about that it’s often easy to let go of the small stuff.

But something as small as a form’s button can affect the success of a site, at least according to user interface design expert Jared Spool, who wrote about a case on how removing a button and adding a clear error message to avoid user errors in a checkout process increased revenue by $300 million in just a year. The first month witnessed a 45% additional sales attributed to the revision of the checkout process.

This attention to detail being important is echoed by Flow, a user-centered design firm. They found that by revising their error page so that it contained useful help text improved completed checkouts by 0.5% per month, which if extrapolated, could mean an additional quarter of a million pounds annually for the particular site.

The message they used? A polite two-sentence message instead of a cryptic 404 error: "We’re sorry, we’ve had a problem processing your order. Your card hasn’t been charged yet. Please click checkout to try again."

Pay attention to the details. Use A/B split testing to test your hypothesis and find out what is the most effective design that achieves better results. Set goals using analytics software to benchmark results of design tweaks in relation to site objectives.

Sources and Further Reading

9. Don’t Rely on Search as a Crutch to Bad Navigation

Users expect navigation to be easy to use and well organized. Even with an excellent site search engine, users will still turn to primary navigation first. According to a task test conducted by Gerry McGovern, over 70% of the participants began the task he gave them by clicking on a link on the page as opposed to using the search feature.

This result is similar to a test by UIE of 30 users that tracked e-commerce tasks. The research analysis concluded that "users often gravitated to the search engine when the links on the page didn’t satisfy them in some way." Thus, search is most often utilized only when the user has failed to discover what they were looking for in the current page.

The lesson to be gained here is clear: Don’t rely on site search to remedy poor content organization, findability issues, and bad information architecture. When users are unable to navigate to what they are looking for, attention should be diverted to layout, navigation, and content organization improvements, with improving search functionality as the secondary priority.

Sources and Further Reading

10. Your Home Page Isn’t As Important as You Think

Visitors to your website are less likely to land on your home page. Search engines are a big factor here, as they’ll link to whatever page is relevant on your site. Links from other websites are also likely to link to pages beyond your home page if that’s where the relevant information is.

According to an analysis by Gerry McGovern, page views sourcing from the home page of websites is decreasing dramatically. He witnessed a drop from 39% from 2003 to only 2% in 2010 of page views coming from the home page of a large research site. This trend was doubly confirmed on another site he studied, where page views sourcing from the home page halved in just two years (from 10% in 2008 to only 5% in 2010).

McGovern’s results indicate that traffic, more and more, is coming from external sources — search engines, social media sites such as Twitter, and content aggregator services such as AllTop — rather than from the front page of a website. Therefore, a higher focus on landing pages versus your home page can get you more bang for your buck in terms of conversion and user-retention opportunities.

Sources and Further Reading

Related Content

Cameron Chapman is a professional web and graphic designer with over 6 years of experience in the industry. She’s also written for numerous blogs such as Smashing Magazine and Mashable. You can find her personal web presence at Cameron Chapman On Writing. If you’d like to connect with her, check her out on Twitter.

95 Comments

chux

September 15th, 2010

This article is amazing.

Thank you very much for this. I will show the fifth point to some designers friends jeje

Keep on the good work

Lance

September 15th, 2010

Good article with some good points. Well written.

Alex

September 15th, 2010

Very interesting. Thanks for the info!

Stephen Coley

September 15th, 2010

Great set of tips! However, I still think content above the fold is the most likely to leave a lasting impression.

http://whereisthefold.com

Shevonne

September 15th, 2010

Great tips! I am going to see how my web site measures up now. :)

Danny Sanchez

September 15th, 2010

Outstanding article, Cameron!

Jason Gross

September 15th, 2010

Great stuff Cameron! Including the sources of this information is great too because sometimes its helpful to point clients to hard evidence when they throw requests at you like making sure the user doesn’t need to scroll to see content.

My one bone to pick here is with the final point. I am curious as to whether the home page importance is really reflected across the entire web or if it is site dependent. For example, I would expect sites like popular blogs such as this one or content heavy sites like news organizations would be losing a lot of home page traffic. However, for small business or personal sites your home page should be developed to draw in the most traffic because this page is presenting strong points of your business or self.

Koko

September 15th, 2010

there is alot nice info in your article.
especially the point with the “above the fold” was very useful to me.

i love to read articles like that when i am at the state to rebuilt a website and look around for infos about improvement.
thanks

Young

September 15th, 2010

there are a couple busted myths here that i still would like to believe in, like the 3-click guideline and the fold thing…mostly cuz i still behave like the “typical web user” these myths try to console. i would love to see a site i like where i can’t get to what i’m looking for within 3 clicks. can someone give me an example? most of the time if i’m staying on the site clicking away, it’s cuz i’m interested in the design/code as a web programmer, not as a user. as far as the fold goes, i do scroll down for a second or two if there’s a giant flash banner in the feature area, but i usually don’t find anything i like down there. i think i rely more on the main navigation in that case to figure out where i want to go next.

of course i keep feeling like i’m getting old (no jokes please) and there is a whole new generation of web users now who don’t behave like we do.

Oscar Dias

September 15th, 2010

Great article! Full of good references for further reading! Thanks!

azul

September 15th, 2010

Great usability tips resource, absolutely need it for my research paper, thanks.

Thiago

September 15th, 2010

I am from Brazil, useful article…….i love usabilidade

Eric Gravlin

September 15th, 2010

Great list of key UX practices.

Personally, I almost always have the “Three Click” rule in the back of my head when creating a site’s architecture. To have information in front of your users quickly and without several separate page loads, is a big plus for me.

Thomas Rasinen

September 15th, 2010

Great article! It seems to get to the heart of better usability, margins, good organization, etc….

I agree with the points including those in regard to “The Fold”. As long as you have quality content which is relevant to the viewer.

Valerie

September 15th, 2010

Great article.

Lovely point about the importance of the ‘small stuff’.

Also great to hear someone else saying that long pages aren’t all bad. If you have good content ‘above the fold’ people will scroll.

Dim

September 15th, 2010

Great article!Did your research included some scientific papers? Can you provide references the them?

Karen McAllister

September 15th, 2010

All great points, Cameron! And so true about importance of homepage vs. story level.

Conor O'Driscoll

September 15th, 2010

Great article, and scrolled all the way down (despite probably only reading 28% of the text).

One thing I find annoying is messy URLs. I usually don’t click on something if it has too much %19&;5f$t. I don’t mind long URLs, but I like them to make sense.

And don’t get me started on Facebook URLs. Most of the time, the links just redirect back to your home page, and anyway, I’d rather not have my history displayed on every link I show my friends.

seoview

September 15th, 2010

I do not agree to all of your points. The “three click role” does not mainly come from usability aspects but of search engine optimization. google does value the reachability of content, the importance giving to a page decreases every click, the rule of thumb is that you should not have more than 4 “levels” if you want that specific page to be able to compete on google.

Cathie Walker

September 15th, 2010

Excellent article. You saved me some research in updating my writing for the web lessons!

Michael Tuck

September 15th, 2010

Superb article, and excellent research.

Shibel K. Mansour

September 15th, 2010

I hope Six Revisions don’t have Ms. Chapman on a freelance contract.

Splendid work!

S.K.

Eloina

September 15th, 2010

great information I am from the old generation of baby boomers but I am fascinated with this stuff. Thank you

Palle Zingmark

September 16th, 2010

Great article, Cameron! Loads of good references, thnx.

Netscore

September 16th, 2010

Thanks for this great article !

I must traduce it on my blog and i put a backlink

It’s a great resume for utilisability.

kalyan

September 16th, 2010

I have never received so much blogging wisdom from a single post . this is awesome amazing and excellent post . Really informative and really helpful .

Sourav Agarwal

September 16th, 2010

Great post. Everyone wants to have a blog or site to go online. But, many do not the nitty-gritty of website..

Paul

September 16th, 2010

Very good article. The one point that sticks out for me (that I wasn’t already aware of) is the point about information being ‘above the fold’. This is something that we are dealing with on a daily basis.

I wouldn’t completely ignore the idea of ‘the fold’. Logically it would make sense to have your best offers in this position. Having read the research in a little more detail, the authors state:

“Our research shows the most effective place for content is above the fold, no surprises there. We are saying that people do scroll. Users scroll if there are cues to scroll and no design barriers to scrolling.”

mtrang

September 16th, 2010

Best article I’ve read on SixRevisions.

Gabriele Maidecchi

September 16th, 2010

VERY valuable tips!
Some were are generally kind of obvious like speeding loading times and readibility improvements, but the eyetracking discoveries are very interesting.
Striving for a perfected (or the closest to it) user experience is the best way to guarantee retention and user satisfaction.

Digital Data

September 16th, 2010

This a Combo Pack of webpage usability, I will re-think old concepts.

Matthew Wehrly

September 16th, 2010

@Cameron – Thank you for the great article!

dislokated

September 16th, 2010

Nice read. So much of this is contrary to popular theories including works done by Jakob Nielsen circa 2000.

John Oakley

September 16th, 2010

This is one of the best blog posts I have EVER read. Excellent content, great structure and copious links. But a casual reader could deduce that from the near-100% positive comments, in itself a rarity on the web. Well done Cameron.

Sam Watkins

September 16th, 2010

Thanks Cameron for the great collection of usability tips.

Merryl Rosenthal

September 17th, 2010

“Above the fold–or else” has been so ingrained in web marketing culture that I was both shocked and relieved to learn that this particular rule is not absolute gospel. Thank you!

Cheers.

Mustafa kurtuldu

September 17th, 2010

One for the bookmark. Exellent read :)

Andrew Bishop

September 17th, 2010

Excellent insights and referenced to boot! Thank you.

üsch

September 17th, 2010

really nice article – thank you :) but … not again – more bookmarks to read :)

Cristian

September 17th, 2010

Great article, Cameron! Thanks for all these tips.

Sunny

September 17th, 2010

Thanks, this is an excellent article. I learnt quite a bit about user design today.

Have a good weekend ahead.

Maxime

September 17th, 2010

Excellent article about usability! It’s important to rethink about such things whereas the Web is constantly evolving!

Stephane Jose

September 17th, 2010

Some myths debunked, indeed. I have some doubts about the lack of importance of the fold, though, especially for a home page. It might not be that important concerning content pages, especially if basic text legibility rules are followed. In any case, it is an interesting article.

Phuzzy

September 17th, 2010

Interesting points, but I’m wondering how #5 and #2 could be combined. Sure, a user might scroll down to the end of the page, but are they then paying less attention to the scrolling content? Or are they doing more of a “page down” (vs. a smooth scroll) and then giving the new screen an F-shaped look?

Also, I think you should still worry about being above the fold. Even CX Partners, whose report is cited, says “Our research shows the most effective place for content is above the fold, no surprises there.”

Tyrone probert

September 17th, 2010

A truly remarkable artical! Well researched and full of amazing content! I scrolled down and read every word.. Lots of food for thought! Thank you

Alexander

September 17th, 2010

This is a great article! I’ve enjoyed reading it a lot and it brought up a few issues I am going to address on my current project. Thank you, Cameron!

Rick Omanson

September 17th, 2010

In the examples given in point 2 where uses focus on the left), all the screenshots are layouts where the content and navigation is arranged to the left. It would be interesting to see where the focus is on something with top nav, a graph, and then categories or columns below. Or it would be good to see where the focus is on a page with the navigation on the right. Is the looking strategy site-specific or out of habit?

Fred

September 17th, 2010

Absolutely brilliant article. Well done Ms Chapman!

Andrew Male

September 18th, 2010

Great article. I’ll definitely being reviewing this in more depth and updating our own procedure to account for these findings.
Thanks very much.

Craig

September 18th, 2010

Fantastic post on usability especially as it is backed up with research studies, very well balanced and comprehensive article! Quality!

alibeigi

September 19th, 2010

Great article,Great usability tips resource
thanks

Asim Sheikh

September 19th, 2010

Gret article, blowing many of the myths regarding website design. I have recently finished my site and currently going through a usability study but if I read this first it could potentially have saved me time and money

Miranda

September 19th, 2010

Extremely useful article!! I myself have been using usability testing tools to help me figure out what happens to users when they are on the sites I design. Currently I am using http://www.capteria.com and find it really useful!!

Richo

September 19th, 2010

A great summary of usability myths in one place.
The 3 click rule is my bane.
If creating a site with all pagess accessible within 3 clicks managing sites with 2000 pages would require every page to have 13 items in the navigation list even if all areas of the site neatly split into 13 subsections and went to an equal depth.
For a 30,000 page site, each page would have to have 34 navigation links to its subpages again assuming a perfectly symmetrical site. This is clearly unusable.

So I have one request for an addition to this page. What is the relationship between time taken to make a decision, quality of decision, and the number of options to choose from in website navigation.

Davor

September 20th, 2010

Great article Cameron, you covered a lot with this! I’d like to recommend another great site to anyone who wants to learn more: http://uxmyths.com/

Keep up the good work! ;)

eliza

September 20th, 2010

great article! fuel for the fire :) thanks!

Ileana

September 20th, 2010

Great post! Brief but with most key factors on it!

Martin Masmontet

September 21st, 2010

Many thanks for putting together all these ressources. Useful and oh so interesting article !

Hans Bakker

September 21st, 2010

Thanks stephan, interesting research overview food for thoughts

Mark

September 22nd, 2010

Very interesting findings but, in my own personal interactions with the public using my institution’s website, I find that ‘above the fold’ and the ‘three-click rule’ are more important to my users than these studies report. I’m often skeptical of such studies, especially when given the fact that many of these them (e.g., the ‘three-click rule’ study) involved fewer than 50 participants.

Tim

September 22nd, 2010

Of course, you can eliminate many cases of the 404 page entirely — the “it might’ve moved” case — if you just stop moving your pages around all the time in the first place. Tim told us to do this over a decade ago (“Cool URIs don’t change” — http://www.w3.org/Provider/Style/URI).

Sadly, most websites (even big commercial ones) seem to have taken the approach of making their 404 pages use more polite language, rather than just serving up the content users wanted in the first place.

Claudia Liersch

September 23rd, 2010

Great article. Thanx for this studies.

Randy Worrell

September 23rd, 2010

As an older IT dude, I can say that I’ve seen the evolution of web design from almost the beginning to now. “Rules” change and become “myths” as time passes; just as coding techniques evolve. Otherwise we’d all still be in COBOL (shudder).

I believe Ms. Chapman has expressed the newer paradigm in a very eloquent and informative manner. I, for one, believe that if you don’t learn and grow in any endeavor, you’re regressing.

A toast to progress, Ms. Chapman!

Crystal

September 23rd, 2010

Some great points! Love the fact that you mention that everyone needs to pay attention to where links go and what error messages are present. I will keep these tips in mind while I revamp my site =D

Dave (MKEBiz)

September 23rd, 2010

Great post. A lot of good items to check out on my blog. Never thought that Google factors page speed into search rankings. Now I am reading the “Saving Bandwidth and Improving Site Speed Using CSS Sprites” post for help.

rockefellaz

September 24th, 2010

Those myths are really confusing sometimes.
Nice article.
Thanks.

Jesmond Allen

September 26th, 2010

Great article – lovely to see a summary of issues we see in testing all the time. Just a small point of accuracy: The Myth of the Page Fold article was co-authored by my cxpartners colleagues Joe Leech and Fiz Yazdi, not just Joe. Don’t want to see a great woman miss out on a mention…

Darren Debway

September 28th, 2010

Great read and very important. Trying to get people to understand simple UI basics like making a link look like a link is simply too hard heh.

@Phuzzy – the problem with the fold stuff is there is all the evidence you need online to prove that actually the fold doesn’t matter and it’s your content that makes the difference. If you don’t believe me go look at the big guys making a killing online, look at how they approach a sales site. Long long LONG sales pages with a call to action at the bottom. Nothing has changed online from offline – COPY SELLS!

If you don’t lead people to the gate don’t be suprised if they walk off into the woods.

Diana

September 29th, 2010

Excellent article! I will definitely use this for my website. This information is really important for those just starting out. Looking forward to more…

D

Alex Arthur

September 30th, 2010

It’s remarkable to see how those eye-tracking charts really to look like the letter F! That introduced me to a new way of thinking about page layout.

Marc LeVine

September 30th, 2010

Hi Cameron:

Yours is a very thought provoking post that challengers much of the more recent conventional thinking regarding effective websites design.

In my personal opinion, every business/company has its own unique culture, personality and style. The website should definitely reflect these things to be true to the company it represents. Rules of thumbs are helpful, but are not all universal.

As a career services specialist – earlier in my working life – I taught my own students to view a company’s annual report (the forerunner of websites) and determine whether there were more photos and content focused on employees or on equipment. This was often indicative of type of corporate culture applicants might find at the company they were considering going to work for. Websites work this way, too. Consider the rules offered and then make the website your own.

The study recommendations you refer to are good rules of thumb to go by, but the real answer on usability is how successful a website can be to “pull off its chief objectives,” -whatever they may be – based on a few very basic static principles:

CATCH. Catch the visitor’s attention with a professional look and easy navigation. You have approx. 15-20 seconds to accomplish this, in most cases.

GRAB. Grab the visitor’s attention with short, well constructed sentences that are comprehensive and concise. They must be relevent, interesting and(call to)action oriented. Break them up with lines of white and bold sub headers, wherever possible. Don’t exhaust the visitor.

KEEP. Keep the viewers from “bouncing” (leaving your pages) by “connecting all the dots” throughout your website relying on a plan that takes visitors from discovery point to desired action(s). Linear planning and layout are the keys. Let them follow a clear path to your virtual and physical doors.

Good article. Looking forward to more of the same.

Marc LeVine
Director of Social Media
RiaEnjolie, Inc.
Fllow on Twitter @RiaEnjolie

Paolo

September 30th, 2010

Fantastic article! Very well done!

GD

November 30th, 2010

I am going to bookmark! nice post

John

January 8th, 2011

The study about eye focus seems biased. What websites did people view and were they interesting to the user? I know I would read 28% or less of the content if I wasn’t interested… interesting article though!

Perth

February 3rd, 2011

This is a really useful round-up. It’s incredible how many web designers ignore even the most obvious, common sense aspects of usability.

I had seen the eye-tracking work previously but the three-click myth is new to me (that said, I’m still going to try and keep clicks to a minimum :)

Almekhlafi

February 5th, 2011

Thankyou very much to this detials,
this really good article

Jonathan Gale

February 8th, 2011

Great article, I’m sure I was doing a lot of this subconsciously, but will now make sure this is criteria to be ticked off!
Many thanks.

Zach

February 10th, 2011

This is great information. It’s nice to have a source to point to and say “See it’s not just me telling you this.”

Ivan Tsankov

February 14th, 2011

Great stuff! Never thought that there is a 3-click rule.
Alsot the Nielsen’s studies continue to amaze me. I guess I’ve missed too much from his page, gonna check it out.

Thanks!

Peter

February 18th, 2011

What a wonderful article. You have put a lot of time and effort into putting this together. Thanks very much for sharing it with us.
I have only scanned through it, but am very impressed with the content.
It has given me a lot to contemplate, particularly using lists and points, rather than a lot of words.
Great effort. Thanks again.

Hans

March 4th, 2011

tl; dr

Matthew Bonner

March 31st, 2011

Did the research take in account effective offline marketing drives people to the homepage? The reason I bring this up is that I agree the homepage should be simple but disagree that content above the fold is not as important as once perceived.

Therefore, my conclusion is you shouldn’t look at the information mentioned here as gospel, there is more to a design than research, you have to do your own research and then come up with the right solution based on your findings.

capris

April 14th, 2011

special thanks for your article

Stu Collett

May 9th, 2011

Great article. Love the point about the page fold, very true.

Sofia Ribeiro

May 10th, 2011

Hi Cameron,

Great article! Thanks for taking the time to back it up with research, too – that must have been quite an effort.

I particularly like the point on the home page not being the most important page of an website. It definitely sheds a new light on website design!

Looking forward to your next article.

ZF

June 10th, 2011

So, overall, very well researched article with very good sources. My issue is the wording on the bing search example.

“reduced user satisfaction by -3.8%, lost revenue per user of -4.3% and a reduced clicks by -4.3%”

Reduced user satisfaction by -3.8%? That’s great! Why? Well, I would rather have a loss of -3.8 than a loss of 3.8. When you say reduced or lost or any similar meaning word with a negative number, then grammar and math say that you are creating a positive. I know what you meant and I am sure that others didn’t even realize the mistake but two negatives create a positive, even in writing.

Damien

July 30th, 2011

That was such long and ofcourse awesome article, thanks for your efforts.

Ejsmont

August 27th, 2011

A really cool article :) thanks

Asif

September 4th, 2011

really cool article. this information can also help on improving quality metrics for web applications.

John Paul Handrigan

September 27th, 2011

This is a great article – hopefully I can incorporate some of these tips in my web design.

DD

October 14th, 2011

Excellent article. Good data backed details with plots and graphs. I was really surprised with the 2 second speed versus revenue.

minya

October 15th, 2011

Nowadays finding such this articles is like finding treasure! I appreciate your work

Faisal

October 19th, 2011

Currently I’m working at the first stage of my study which around Usability Evaluation , and I found this artical very helpful , so thanks alot Cameron !!

Igor Mateski

November 9th, 2011

this post is very similar to a journal article, excellent in information and additional resources. Excellent job. I’ve seen most of the myth debunking all over the net, but you’ve done a stellar job in putting it all together in a single easy to read text. I’m bookmarking your site right now.

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