Do You Click Randomly On Websites?

from the I-do,-I-do dept

In a new study about web-use behavior, one of the more interesting findings was that people tend to click a lot on websites — and they’re not talking about links. People just click within a website. While the snippet linked here doesn’t suggest a reason why, I definitely do this, so I can at least explain my thought process. There are two reasons why I click on non-linked parts of websites as I read. First, and probably most importantly, is to make sure the browser I’m reading is recognized as the active window. Too often, even if it’s the top window, what I’m reading won’t be recognized as the active window, causing problems when I scroll. The second reason, is that I often highlight what I’m reading, partly to keep my place and also to keep me focused on the text I’m reading. There are plenty of websites that don’t seem to allow this sort of activity (blocking the ability to highlight or, worse, linking whitespace off to some other page), so it’s important that designers start to take into account how people read their pages. The article also notes that many people seem to click on photographs, even when they don’t link to anything — and suggests that site designers may want to start making all photos linked to larger versions (though, that assumes the reason people click is to see a larger version). Update: Almost forgot: here’s a link to the full study.


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