SIGIA-L Mail Archives: SIGIA-L: Limiting links on a page in ord
SIGIA-L: Limiting links on a page in order to reduce information overload
From: Karyn Young (kyoungsprint10_at_earthlink.net)
Date: Thu Jan 10 2002 - 20:08:06 EST
Has anybody ever played around with any guidelines or seen any guidelines
about how many links are too many on a page? I know, probably an insane
question. Too many variables, but I'll explain why I'm throwing out this
The particular page I'm going to use as an example was a major entry point
into one of our larger product groups with 30,000 + pages behind it. My team
got involved and we did some simplification and located navigation to key
user task content front and center.
After implementation (based on the work from my team), the number of links
on the page went from 71 to 43 and it almost fits in one browser window.
With 71 links, the page looked really busy. With 43 is looks cleaner. I know
"busy" and "clean" are horrendously subjective, but I can't provide screen
shots. When we analyzed clickthroughs on the page before and after, we saw
some changes that we believe to be most positive. Before redesign,
clickthroughs on the page were 48%. After they were 62%. A clickthrough
percentage indicates how many users that arrived at a page clicked on it. So
our results indicate that more users are deciding to go into the site and
this is making the Web team that owns the site very happy.
Since we did more than just reduce links in the redesign, I can't attribute
all success to reducing the complication of the page and making it easier
for the user to see what they want. But, has anybody else thought about the
importance of reducing noise on pages? And that reducing noise means
reducings the number of links? If there's 100 links on a page, for example,
then there's at least a hundred pieces of info that the user needs to digest
if they are really going to look at the whole thing. It seems to me that at
about 50, a page is starting to get busy. For some sites this might make
perfect sense. For other sites, it might be too busy.
It would be helpful to provide some guidelines to our Web editors so they
can get a quick feel for how many links is too many on a page. Will I be
accused of massive overgeneralization like Jakob? And will people make mouse
pads with my picture on them that poke fun at me?
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: Sun Nov 23 2003 - 22:54:58 EST