Does it really matter how many times users have to click to get what they want?

Does it really matter how many times users have to click to get what they want?

adam

Mr. Webwide
Administrator
Local time
19:41
Joined
Sep 24, 2019
Messages
1,262
Pronouns
he/him


Ironically I was annoyed by this article by how much I had to scroll on mobile just to get past the enormous title.

I think it prompts some interesting discussion though.

Do you count clicks/taps when designing your interfaces to stick to some golden rule of no more than 3 or 4?

It’s never occurred to me to count really but it’s certainly something I’m aware of when building out interfaces.

 

xtbhyn

💻 🎨 🖊️ 📚 🌱 🍔
Local time
00:11
Joined
Oct 20, 2019
Messages
54

I have met two schools of people:

  1. They think good information architecture (IA), clear UI copy/labels and proper visual design of the interface automatically leads to low click/tap count
  2. They use the 3-4 click rule as a goal or constraint to generate IA, UI labels and design
I am not sure which is good or bad but I belong to [1].

 
Last edited:

xtbhyn

💻 🎨 🖊️ 📚 🌱 🍔
Local time
00:11
Joined
Oct 20, 2019
Messages
54

From personal experience, I feel that the desirability of an interface is governed more by the "value" it provides rather than the "time to value". For example, government websites in my country are known to have terrible UX but people use them everyday to perform occassional tasks like applying for jobs, passport, visa etc. and daily tasks like applying for work tenders, submitting daily reports etc. These are the same people who have tasted and have been spoiled by digital products with good design. But, in my sample space of 20-25 people (friends & family), I have never heard them crib about how badly designed the website they use for work is or how much clicks it takes to perform a task 😛

 

nshep

Member
Local time
20:41
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
39

Personally, I think the fewer clicks the better. If I'm using an interface and it's not an absolute must that I finish the transaction (such as the aforementioned government sites), too many steps is one of the easiest ways to have me run screaming.

 

kilian

Member
Gold Member
Local time
20:41
Joined
Oct 7, 2019
Messages
62
Pronouns
he/him

The "3 clicks to get to anything" was about finding information on the early web, but was never underpinned by any research. Remember (html) sitemaps? That's how we got sitemaps. UX Research later found out that users will click far more than 3 times, provided that they thought each click led them closer to what they were looking for.

As @xtbhyn mentioned, often times a good information architecture will have as a result a low click count, but it's not a goal you should pursue in of itself.

 

Michael

😎
Local time
19:41
Joined
Oct 5, 2019
Messages
312

I think Search Engines have improved that I can normally get to the data I want pretty quickly. If the information is on the page that's loaded straight away and I have to close some popups, I'll 7/10 times happily close them… some I'll just go back + hit the next article.

Nowadays I think it's less of a concern due to how easily data is available in places, that this notion is mostly no longer valid. I don't really see people coming into pages at the homepage + then clicking through to find the data they want. I feel most of it is SE based.

I could be wrong.

 

Gummibeer

Astroneer
Moderator
Local time
20:41
Joined
Oct 5, 2019
Messages
1,187
Pronouns
he/him

I think Search Engines have improved that I can normally get to the data I want pretty quickly. If the information is on the page that's loaded straight away and I have to close some popups, I'll 7/10 times happily close them… some I'll just go back + hit the next article.

Nowadays I think it's less of a concern due to how easily data is available in places, that this notion is mostly no longer valid. I don't really see people coming into pages at the homepage + then clicking through to find the data they want. I feel most of it is SE based.

I could be wrong.

Could be true for blogs and so on. Bt not for real apps. GitHub, Netlify or also online Shops will still and ever have these click paths - SEs could only help with public and static content.

 

adam

Mr. Webwide
Administrator
Local time
19:41
Joined
Sep 24, 2019
Messages
1,262
Pronouns
he/him

I think Search Engines have improved that I can normally get to the data I want pretty quickly. If the information is on the page that's loaded straight away and I have to close some popups, I'll 7/10 times happily close them… some I'll just go back + hit the next article.

Nowadays I think it's less of a concern due to how easily data is available in places, that this notion is mostly no longer valid. I don't really see people coming into pages at the homepage + then clicking through to find the data they want. I feel most of it is SE based.

I could be wrong.

Pop-ups is a great point. I wonder if the people that do count count the 1-10 clicks to get through cookie notices, newsletter sign-ups, app download dialogs, notification permissions dialogs, etc.

 

Gummibeer

Astroneer
Moderator
Local time
20:41
Joined
Oct 5, 2019
Messages
1,187
Pronouns
he/him

Pop-ups is a great point. I wonder if the people that do count count the 1-10 clicks to get through cookie notices, newsletter sign-ups, app download dialogs, notification permissions dialogs, etc.
I do, and for me the FIRST of these disruptive elements is the first and only reason needed to leave a page. They could be present but should never cover important parts or a major part of the page.

 
Top