If you design web sites, you probably heard this statement: "I should be able to find everything on a site in just three clicks".
After hearing about the three-click rule for many years and having it as a requirement in some client projects, UIE decided to find out if the rule was true. By analyzing data from a study of 44 users attempting 620 tasks, UIE found that:
- There was no correlation between the number of times users clicked and their success in finding the content they sought.
- There wasn't any more likelihood of a user quitting after three clicks than after 12 clicks.
- An 80% task completion rate was seen after an average of 15 clicks.
- There was no correlation between the number of times users clicked and their reported satisfaction with the site.
UIE concludes that "The number of clicks isn't what is important to users, but whether or not they're successful at finding what they're seeking."
- The article Testing the Three-Click Rule
- November 27, 2003
See also: Research (93)