Chapter 94. Structure versus Choice

There are two major aspects of UX design that can give you mysterious results: IA and user psychology. And it is possible for one to look like the other.

We have already learned a lot about the ways you can present information so more people choose certain options than they normally would.

But what if you see a lot of people choosing an option that you didn’t want them to choose?

There are probably a million examples of this. However, my goal in this lesson is not to give you a library of scenarios—just to give you a taste of the way your navigation or layout might be a sheep in psychology’s clothing.

Order versus Appeal

You have learned about how to bias your content so that certain options look more attractive than others.

If users don’t choose those options it is possible you did it wrong. Or, you might just have them in the wrong order.

Items on the left of a horizontal list or at the top of a vertical list get more clicks because they are the first things people see.

Anchoring only works when the anchor is the first option. If you have something else in the first position, it might be getting clicks just because users see it first.

I have seen people build strategies on the assumption that Option #1 is what users like most, when in reality it is just what users see first.

Content Attention versus Surface Attention

You have learned how to grab the user’s attention and how to minimize competing messages.

So what if everybody loves your site, but nobody ...

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