Confident Clicks v Option Overload
One opinion that refuses to go away when it comes to placing content on a website, is the notion that users want to access the information they are after as soon as possible.
True, this might have been a valid stance when the internet was dial up, but this view should have been thrown away with the modems that powered the web back then.
It is correct to conclude that users do not want to be led down the garden path or feel lost when it comes to finding the information they are seeking, but this “taking a few extra steps”, as long as each step seems logical keeps their confidence up and stops them feeling confused, it isn’t an issue.
If you try and not think about digital experiences, this is how the real-world works, and how humans’ function when it comes to them searching for something. In a technical sense, this would be broad to narrow term classification with data ordering, however this is also how the physical world works too; it’s just that it’s so obvious and burnt into how things are done, we don’t even notice it.
For example, what would be easier for the end user? Walking into a supermarket that contained one massive shelf with every product stacked up next to each other for you pick from without having to seek them out; or a supermarket that’s broken down into sections, with each section further broken down into sub sections, sub-sub sections…etc.
This is how the real-world works, so how a website should work. If you want a nice bottle of red wine, we, without realising it, go through the broad to narrow classification filtering. We would go to the alcohol section, then to the wine section, then the red wine section; where this section itself would be broken down by region, or grape type, or flavour characteristics.
This filtering and breaking up of products within a physical supermarket space seem second nature, however many people are reticent to apply this same logic to their website and their data, sighting that users do not want to be X clicks away from any piece of content. This notion is simply not true, instead users want to know with each click that they are progressing correctly to what they are seeking… to click with confidence.