3-Click rule

You can’t miss the 3-Click rule by Jakob Nielsen if you are in products.

Let’s understand the core of clicks so that you can understand where poor Nielsen came from.

Users are energy efficient. They don’t like to spend extra energy on things they don’t desire. In the JTBD language, users want to accomplish the main job and they don’t want to spend too much energy on the supporting job.

Eg: they want to get cool clothes but they are not too inclined to give phone numbers, get membership, swipe cards etc. They do it because they want to get their main job done.

Similarly the user desires a job to be done and too many supporting jobs like clicks frustrates them. If the desire is really high they actually don’t mind going through as many as 25 clicks to get what they want.

Don’t we see that in matrix architecture like New York Times or Guardian or NDTV. If they followed three click rule then they must cram everything in the menu. IA is designed in the context and rules don’t apply blindly.

Honestly users don’t quit because of number of clicks. They quit when they fail to find what they desire. If the direction is right, the users keep moving forward. Don’t frustrate them to move backwards(back buttons).

Nielsen himself mentioned in Prioritizing Usability that ease of finding information increased by 600% when they moved away from 3-Click rule.

Users prioritise ease and accessibility over number of clicks.

Time and again, studies prove that multi step forms are better than single step ones. Users care more about gaining clarity than being overwhelmed.

Believe me you will feel far better when you know what you are doing than getting it done fast. Eg: a preview page in the e-commerce adds a click but user satisfaction is really high because the confidence increases about the purchase.

All said and done if you could eliminate supporting jobs and get main job done in one click users will love it. Don’t you buy with 1-Click in Amazon?

Human beings are irrational and driven by desire. Why will they doom scroll social media forever if they cared about their time, click optimisation and more?

Focus on building for user experience and not for clicks.

3 click rule is more a thumb rule than a rule.

🥂 to user experience!

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