Should reducing number of clicks be of primaryconcern?
25 Feb 2007 - 7:32pm
7 years ago
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.
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.