“It’s my belief that in order to embrace designing native layouts for the web – whatever the device – we need to shed the notion that we create layouts from a canvas in. We need to flip it on its head, and create layouts from the content out.”- Mark Boulton, Web Designer
“If something is on the screen and people aren’t clicking on it, we remove it.”- Steve Hafner, CEO of Kayak
Our old design tried to be all things to all people and subscribed to the old adage, “Throw enough mud at the wall, and some of it will stick.” We crammed as much information on the page as possible and hoped people would eventually find something that pertains to them.
But a talk by usability guru Jared Spool opened our eyes. He showed us user behavior statistics for Walgreens’ front page. The findings:
One fifth of the visitors follow the “photo” link. 16% go to search. The third most important link is about refilling prescriptions. The fourth is the pharmacy link. The fifth most used links is finding the physical stores. Those five links add up to 59% of the total traffic …but those links take up just 3.8% of the page (via Jeremy Keith)
Users had trouble finding the links they were interested in because they had to wade through all the stuff Walgreens thought they were interested in.
Using a service called CrazyEgg, we were able to see what users were clicking on. And the results were stunning:
- Child Support received 31% of all clicks on the front page of georgia.gov, but the words in the Child Support links took up about .49% of the real estate.
- Search was used 13% of the time but took up just .65% of the page.
- Jobs received 10.9% of all clicks, but four links took up only .43%.
- In contrast, the Headlines feature took up 18% of the page but received only 3.6% of clicks.
Wow. Time for some level setting.