June 15th, 2006
There are few things more frustrating in life than trying to get a drinking glass in someone else’s kitchen. You have to open every cabinet door to figure out where they put the empty glasses. For a few moments, we feel like we’re invading a very private space, searching for something innocuous by opening every nook and cranny.
It’s an interesting phenomena, since, in our own house, we have a cabinet with glasses. Chances are the glasses are in a cabinet near the kitchen sink. Yet, when we’re in unfamiliar territory, we’re on a search and rescue mission of immense proportions.
In the 21st century, innovation has finally arrived. Cabinet manufacturers have come up with an amazing invention: windows. Yes, they now put windows in the cabinets so you see the glasses without opening every door. Simply brilliant. I wish I’d thought of it.
Searching for something on a web site isn’t too far distant from the glass-in-the-kitchen hunt. Except, instead of opening cabinet doors, users click on links and pogostick their way through the site. Yet, it’s just as frustrating as the kitchen experience.
In this UIEtips issue, I talk about the web site equivalent to putting windows in the cabinet doors: creating link-rich home pages. This emerging approach to home page design lets users see more of what is inside the site without having to click on every link. It’s changing the way we think about successful home pages.
Is your organization moving towards link-rich designs? What have your experiences been? We’d love to hear from you. Post your thoughts below.
[Link-rich home pages are just one of the topics I'm covering in June 29th's UIE Virtual Seminar: Initial Scent - The Latest Thinking on Home Page Design. This 90-minute session is packed with UIE's latest research on designing quality home pages. Registrations are coming in much faster than we expected, so you'll want to sign up soon. Details here.]
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