User Experience: Making Your Website Easier for Customers
User Experience: Extending Clickable Areas
I see so many websites that are difficult to use. For example buttons are too small to click on quickly and easily.
The solution is easy. Make the clickable area larger than the visible button. That way it’s not going to frustrate users and you’ll get more clicks.
To make this obvious to the user it helps if, when the cursor enters the clickable area it darkens or changes colour in some other way.
Usuba, Yamanaka and Miyashita’s paper entitled A Model for Pointing at Targets with Different Clickable and Visual Widths and Distractors is worth reading on this topic as is their earlier paper entitled Pointing to targets with difference between motor and visual widths
Fitt’s Law: A Predictive Model Used in Human-Computer Interfaces
Fitt’s Law is a scientific law that predicts human movement in human – computer interfaces. It predicts the time it takes to acquire a target area and is a function of the size (width) of the target/object and the distance the cursor has to travel. It does however apply in other situations and where different limbs are utilised e.g. distance from resting foot to brake in vehicles. It also applies oil different physical environments as well, eg underwater or in space. It is independent of age and applies across the age spectrum.
Though Fitt’s Law was devised for single or one dimensional tasks, such as a cursor moving across a screen, it also applies to two dimensional space such as in hierarchal pull down menus for which the Accot-Zhai steering law was derived.
Does Extending Clickable Areas Work?
But look at it this way. Even if you only get one extra click per thousand visitors it’s worth it … and you could easily get ten or even several hundred times that number.