Tuesday, June 17, 2008

How many options are too many?

Donna Spencer has written a very thoughtful piece on how many items were ‘too many’ to have in a navigation bar on a website.

Entitled, How many items in a navigation bar it's well worth a read.

She argues that the 7+/- 'rule' is more of a myth and offers some suggestions on how to evaluate when a longer navigation bar is appropriate.

Adding my 2c, I think it's also important to consider the importance of each item to your audience to ensure the menu is appropriately arranged.

This doesn't always mean placing the most popular item at the top of a list, or far left of a navigation bar.

If this occurs it is possible that your audience will stop reading at this first item and not go on to look at other menu choices that would better fulfil their needs.

But what's a better option?

By order of steps within a process?
Drawn out of a hat?

Have you ever organised or read about an experiment testing which menu ordering approach maximises use by customers?

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