I’m currently in the early stages of redesigning a local newspaper’s website. I’ve been compiling statistical information such as the most trafficked pages and what time of day is the busiest and also where users are clicking on each page. Crazyegg.com allows me to log click activity and compile that information into something useful.
What I’ve noticed is that while the home page has links to almost all of the current edition’s articles, very few people users are venturing past the page fold. Also, over 60% of the clicks occurring on the home page are on four links.
In my eyes, this is the perfect example of why this website needs to be redesigned. This website has had this layout since 2005. The users have grown accustomed to its layout and have learned the fast way to get to the exact content they want. This is fine, as designers we want our users to be able to get to their destination with as little hassle as possible, but in this situation, I can’t help but think that so much content is being ignored because users see no need in scrolling down or even visiting the left side of the page.
Here’s a few quick points when redesigning your own website(s):
- Spread out the most popular links
Spreading out the most popular links will draw attention to other sections of a page and hopefully get your users more involved with other offerings you already provide.
- Move the search box closer to an area you really want to emphasize.
The search box is easily the most sought after element on a page. Placing it close to specific section of your page is a simple and effective way to attract attention.
- Move content up.
The closer your content is to the top of the page, the more important it appears to your users. If there is something you want to draw attention to, move it above the page fold.
I’d love to hear how you prepare for a redesign. Here’s a screen capture of the entire crazyegg heatmap test.