Should reducing number of clicks be of primaryconcern?

25 Feb 2007 - 7:32pm
7 years ago
1 reply
371 reads
Phillip Hunter
2006

Isn't that a bit too much of a generalization? I am helping re-design a
desktop application that I will also be a user of and reducing clicks to
complete certain tasks is one of my top requests. Of course, I will grant
that my real goal is to see something in particulate more quickly, but the
primary obstacle is the 4 - 5 clicks it takes to see something I have to
look at in hundreds of places in the app.

Phillip

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of David
Malouf
Sent: Sunday, February 25, 2007 7:18 PM
To: oliver green
Cc: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Should reducing number of clicks be of
primaryconcern?

I for 1 stay away from the "Reduce clicks" guideline completely. I
never consider the # of clicks. Why? b/c "click counting" is
meaningless determination of the level of success someone will have
with an application. A user will click a lot if they feel they are
heading in the right direction. YES! they will give up at a certain
pain-point, but that pain-point has less to do with the # of clicks
and more to do with nomenclature and other contextual elements that
help guide the user towards their goal.

If you want to have a 0-learning-curve, then I suggest you actually
ADD more clicks. Yup! create discreet well described processes to take
the user through guided paths that are well layed-out, very legible
and with lots of support.

After doing a ton of usability tests on applications where the role
has to use the system "instantly" w/o outside help, the best success
rates I have had is with guided systems with a lot of careful thought
on presentation visuals and copy. This means doing a lot of research
on business process language, creating the right taxonomy of the
content elements or navigation.

I would look up the articles on "Scent" which I'm sure I'm
bastardizing, by the fine folks at UIE and Jared Spool. (www.uie.com).

One of my Jakob Nielsen pet-peeves is that I am always fighting
against is his treatise on "click-counting" ... It is the bane of my
existence and it really an antiquated remnant of a buy-gone era.

-- dave

Comments

25 Feb 2007 - 9:35pm
Todd Warfel
2003

It's about creating clarity and balance. Neither a limit of 3 clicks
or an endless stream of clicks is the correct model. And I don't
think David is advocating an endless number of clicks.

Bite-sized chunks is a good model. And the number of clicks is
conditional. While it should be a concern, it's not always the only
predictor of satisfaction, effectiveness, and efficiency.

When we measure success in testing, we use a combination factor that
includes satisfaction, time, and effort. So, while clicks is one
piece, it's not the final say.

On Feb 25, 2007, at 7:32 PM, Phillip Hunter wrote:

> Isn't that a bit too much of a generalization? I am helping re-
> design a desktop application that I will also be a user of and
> reducing clicks to complete certain tasks is one of my top
> requests. Of course, I will grant that my real goal is to see
> something in particulate more quickly, but the primary obstacle is
> the 4 - 5 clicks it takes to see something I have to look at in
> hundreds of places in the app.
>
> Phillip

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
Partner, Design & Usability Specialist
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
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In practice, they are not.

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