This following is an excerpt from my final paper for IMC-635 Visual Information Design. You can read the entire paper here.
Let’s talk about all those available pixels. In “Homepage Real Estate Allocation”, Jakob Nielsen says that “websites spend too little homepage screen space on content of interest to users and fail to utilize modern monitor sizes”. An example of this is GM’s homepage in 2001 vs. 2013.
“The GM site was quite representative of those we studied in 2001 and 2013. That is, it was typical of corporate homepages in both years. Although the skyscrapers look nice, most people are probably at this site to see cars. At least GM did well by offering big, clear navigation to its main car brands” (Nielsen, 2013).
Finally, Nielsen’s advice for improving use of screen real estate is to “cut the fluff and spend the pixels on design elements of interest to users — mainly content, but also navigation (particularly on homepages that are very navigation-intensive), and invent page designs that can stretch across widescreen monitors and still adapt to smaller screens” (Nielsen, 2013).
One thought on “Web Design Factors That Influence User Behavior (Part 3)”
Hi JoAnn, I love Nieslen Norman Group! These insights are dead on. Home pages, particularly in the day of mobile websites, need to make content easy to find. I recently read another article on their website about the new Bucknell website: http://www.nngroup.com/articles/breaking-web-conventions/