The 3 Click Rule:
You want your customers to have a positive experience that will ensure they come back to your website. The “3 click rule” suggests that if your customers don’t find what they are looking for after 3 mouse clicks they will give up, leave your site, never to return. Scary stuff, huh?
But is this really true? I think we can all agree that website owners need to be scrupulous on limiting the amount of clicks a customer has to perform common tasks on a website. Your customers don’t have the time or the patience to spend endlessly look for answers. If there is something so unique on your site that your customers are willing to dig for it, you may gain some traffic but still lose any repeat visits.
How many clicks is too many you ask? Unfortunately, there is no formula we can use to determine how many is too many. Put yourself in your customers shoes and go through your site. Is it easy to find information? Is your navigation clear and easy to understand? Or do you have to click through several pages to find what you are looking for? Make a list of the most important information your customers are searching for and make sure that information is easy to find, by having a clear, easily understandable navigation scheme and clean graphics pointing them in the right direction. Be sure to put the most common needs front and center, dead simple for a new user to find. Then test that layout on some users who have never seen your site before.
So the question really is ‘who are my customers and what questions do they have?’ If you can answer this, you are one step closer to achieving a more user-friendly website and business.