I was taught that a good rule of thumb in designing a web experience is to make key functionality as available as possible. The more clicks a user has to make to find the good stuff, the less likely they’ll bother. It’s not always true that more clicks mean a worse experience, but we did find, for example, that people were more likely to access a web coaching experience when it was fewer clicks away from their main portal homepage.
A number of studies have made it clear that there’s no magic number of clicks that will entice users (see a roundup here). In fact, some times more clicks are better. That’s the case with deliberate progressive disclosure, where you gradually reveal information to users as they need it rather than bombarding them with A-Z instructions at the outset. I’ve also found it to be the case with lengthy questionnaires; breaking them into multiple pages and sections helps the user experience. What really matters is that the clicking behavior asked of the user is logical and fits within a narrative of how to use the product.
Which brings me to a design “feature” I’ve recently noticed on the Twitter website–what seems to be a deliberately inserted extra click for users who which to switch accounts. There are lots of reasons why people have multiple Twitter accounts; it’s not uncommon. So why, when I log out of Account A, do I see the following screen instead of an option to log in again?
Twitter has chosen to prioritize an app download (an app I perhaps ironically already have–I’m not using the desktop site because of a lack of a phone!) over another user behavior. As a result, I have to make an extra click every time I want to engage in a common website activity (logging back in). It’s also not obvious where that extra click should be unless you’re a seasoned user of the Twitter site. Meanwhile, the real estate devoted to downloading the mobile app is great . . . if I didn’t already have the app.
That extra click is feeling mighty effortful about now!