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  1. #1
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    longer page vs. more clicks - what's better?

    i am working on a new design for our site and trying to figure out the general site structure at this point.
    i have a "design template" whiich is not final, but will help to illustrate the point:
    http://nimlok.com/new_site/custom-modular2.htm
    right now it is a sort of a dummy page, but eventually there will be more text under the red "custom modular" to describe more product features/benefts. The current idea is to also list all the accessories available for the product on the same page.
    as a result, the page will end up sort of long.
    What do you think is better? to just have features/benefits on the page and then have sub buttons for accessories and other stuff, or have one longer page without making the person click.
    as an example, the difference is well represented in web sites of our competitors.
    compare:
    http://www.skycorp.com/skyline.asp?c...ss%20ps3000_is
    vs
    http://www.abex.com/600/mainpage.html (the page is supposed to be in a pop up window, so there's no background repetition).
    what do you think is a better solution and why?
    my marketing manager keeps talking how everything should be the minimal cklicks away, but how do we accomplish that without sacrificing the design?

    do you think that a site's design should dictate pages' length or that projected pages' length should dictate the site's design?
    when trying to come up with a new design for the site, i am sitting and thinking that i have to come up with something where the bottom is "easily exandable", i.e. it can be as long as nessesary.
    Our current design, on the other hand puts the site into a 640x480 invisible "frame", so our pages are short, but then we have to use "more" or next" id we need to have more content (for example http://nimlok.com/us/faq.htm). potentially, the pages could go on longer, but the idea was to "frame them". BUT on abex's web site (link above), their design definitely restricts how long the page can be, because the graphical greying texture borders the bottom of the page.
    Last edited by valeria_vi; Feb 26, 2003 at 11:47.
    Goals are dreams with deadlines
    -------------------------------------
    Nimlok Trade Show Displays Booths and Exhibits

  2. #2
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    it's always a case a walking a fine line between offering enough information and swamping a user with too much...
    personally, i think a site's design should follow the content. however, the content itself needs to be organised in good chunks. i'm not advocating splitting up pages into lots of little sub-pages, unless the ammount of scrolling a user would have to do is more than 1 or two page-heights. there's no hard & fast rules.
    one thing that struck me was the line
    Quote Originally Posted by valeria_vi
    my marketing manager keeps talking how everything should be the minimal cklicks away
    i've had a similar thing at work. my manager read somewhere about the "3 click rule" (everything should be available within 3 clicks from the homepage), and kept mentioning this as if it was a rule carved in stone. rubbish, i say. it all depends on the complexity of a site's information architecture. if it has to be 4 clicks instead of 3, then so be it, as long as the users don't get lost and it makes sense.
    so yes, there's no absolute rules for this. it may be worth doing 2 prototypes and having a small user testing session...
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  3. #3
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    i've had a similar thing at work. my manager read somewhere about the "3 click rule" (everything should be available within 3 clicks from the homepage), and kept mentioning this as if it was a rule carved in stone.
    ahh, so you know exactly what i am going through here!
    Goals are dreams with deadlines
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    Nimlok Trade Show Displays Booths and Exhibits

  4. #4
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redux
    i've had a similar thing at work. my manager read somewhere about the "3 click rule" (everything should be available within 3 clicks from the homepage), and kept mentioning this as if it was a rule carved in stone.
    Perhaps if one of those clicks involves running a search!

    Anyway valera, If you need a long page you need a long page. If your page is excessively long though (i.e. more than two vertical scrolls at 800x600 or 1024x768, your preference), I'd suggest putting named anchors at the top of the page so people can drill down to what they need quicker. Here's a quick example:
    Code:
    <a id="top">Questions:</a>
    <ul>
    <li><a href="#Q1">Question 1</a></li>
    <li><a href="#Q2">Question 2</a></li>
    <li><a href="#Q3">Questtion 3</a></li>
    </ul>
    <h1 id="Q1">Question 1</h1>
    <p>answer here, blah blah</p>
    <a href="#top">Top of page</a>
    <h1 id="Q2">Question 2</h1>
    ...etc...
    This will let your users quickly get to the "question" they need an answer to.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    My basic line of thinking on this subject is that page length is dictated by need for information. If you really need to describe something in detail, then I don't see any reason not to on one page, especially if you could only break it at an awkward place, but asides or related information can easily (and should) go on another page if they're not critical to the understanding of the first.

    No evidence I can rightly remember to back that up, but it's what makes the most since to me (then again I'm the type of person who goes to the print version of articles instead of reading through consecutive pages).
    Quote Originally Posted by valeria_vi
    The current idea is to also list all the accessories available for the product on the same page.
    ...
    on abex's web site (link above), their design definitely restricts how long the page can be, because the graphical greying texture borders the bottom of the page.
    I don't generally like either of these strategies because in the former, you've diluted your message with peripherals and the other way you cropped your message up for no good reason. Maybe you can come up with some hybrid where you have the relevant copy and than just lest a few key accessories at the bottom with a link to more?

    ~~Ian


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