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6:2 Place Important Items Consistently

Relative Importance:

Relative Importance rating of 5 out of 5

Strength of Evidence:

Strength of Evidence rating of 4 out of 5

Document Type: Guideline


Topic:

Page Structure General


Guideline:

Put important, clickable items in the same locations, and closer to the top of the page, where their location can be better estimated.


Comments:

Users anticipate where items will appear on their screen. Positioning elements consistently on the website improves user’s task completion. Generally, users can anticipate the location of items near the top portion of the site better than those at the bottom portion.


Sources:

  • Badre, A.N. (2002). Shaping Web Usability: Interaction Design in Context. Boston, MA: Addison Wesley Professional.
  • Bernard, M. (2001). Developing schemas for the location of common Web objects. Usability News, 3.1. Retrieved November 2005, from http://psychology.wichita.edu/surl/usabilitynews/3W/web_object.htm.
  • Bernard, M. (2002). Examining User Expectations for the Location of Common E-Commerce Web Objects. Usability News, 4.1. Retrieved November 2005, from http://psychology.wichita.edu/surl/usabilitynews/41/web_object-ecom.htm.
  • Byrne, M.D., John, B.E., Wehrle, N.S., & Crow, D.C. (1999). The tangled web we wove: A taskonomy of WWW use. Proceedings of CHI’99, 544-551.
  • Ehret, B.D. (2002). Learning where to look: Location learning in graphical user interfaces. CHI 2002 Conference Proceedings, 211-218.
  • Hornof, A.J. & Halverson, T. (2003). Cognitive strategies and eye movements for searching hierarchical computer displays. CHI 2003 Conference Proceedings, 249-256.

Good Example:

Important items in this case, primary navigation options and the search box, are consistently placed at the top of each page.06_02_good_example

Related Resources: