When the “Three-Click Rule” Wreaks Havoc:
The three-click rule espoused by some people states that any information on a Web site should be reachable from the homepage in three clicks or less.
However, this has never been one of our usability guidelines.
In fact, we found that users’ ability to find products on an e-commerce site increased by 600 percent after the design was changed so that products were four clicks from the homepage instead of three.
Even with one more click, the revised design was faster and more manageable because users didn’t have to spend as much time thinking about where to click.
The three-click rule seems intuitive―a good way to respect users’ time―which is probably why it has achieved the status of usability folklore.
However, it doesn’t hold up in testing for one simple reason:
What makes users give up is the total amount of trouble you put them through.
Yes, each click is extra trouble, so longer paths are worse than shorter paths, all else being equal.
But all else isn’t equal because having to think more about each click and having a greater risk of clicking the wrong link creates trouble in itself―usually much more trouble than a simple extra click on an obvious link.
Attempts to force a large Web site to fit with the three-click rule usually result in obscure and overloaded navigation system
Our goal is to drive viewers in
and not to let them " walk away".
Thank you for your time to this presentation.
Beatriz L. Anzures