If I had a dollar for every time I heard “But that’s an extra click!” during a design review, you and I could go out for dinner. Apparently, mouse clicks are bad and should be minimized at all cost. However, while the idea that any process should have the fewest possible number of clicks is certainly well intentioned, it can actually lead to poor user experience.
A case in point. A designer I know was recently working on a web site for a conference.The design initially had a Register button in the header to send people to a third-party ticketing app to purchase tickets, but it was later decided that there would be two types of tickets for this event. Because branching logic couldn’t be be set up in the ticketing app, it was decided to put two buttons in the header. This looked crowded, and required using abbreviations for the different ticket types on the buttons.
The obvious solution was to have the original Register button link to a second page, where there would be plenty of room for the two buttons, and for a clear explanation of who should buy which ticket type, no abbreviations needed.
But oh no, said the marketing manager, that would mean an extra click!
The fact is, as sites like Amazon prove, that users will happily click (or tap) many, many times to complete a task, as long as each click is a productive click. Users aren’t actually counting clicks or thinking about how many clicks there should be. Their only concern around a click is: Did it move me closer to achieving what I set out to do? If the answer is yes, they are more than happy to click as many times as needed. Only when clicks are not providing forward movement do users get frustrated and abandon the task.
So don’t get sucked into the “extra click” debate. Often, as the example above illustrates, an extra click can help remove ambiguity and prevent the user getting “out of the flow” by having to stop and work out what they should do next.
Just make sure that every click helps move the user towards their intended goal, and they will be be perfectly happy to keep on clicking.