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I need to make a "Share This Site" page that offer all the regular social sharing mediums and send to a friend email option.

With

  • Facebook like
  • facebook share
  • ReTweet this
  • Digg
  • Buzz
  • delicious
  • email
  • and many more

naturally a page with all these buttons could be a disaster.

How can I elegantly and simple design a page with all these options without making the user loos his marbles when he sees it.

examples are very welcome

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Does it have to be whole page? How about using addthis.com ? –  idophir Aug 10 '10 at 15:42
    
I need a page addthis is great and I use it for specific pages. I need an entire page to share the site itself. It is a very small site only 5 pages so there is no need for lots of buttons. –  Sruly Aug 10 '10 at 17:27
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6 Answers

Why do you need all those options? It implies that you don't know what kind of audience is visiting your page. First, find that out. Then just put 2-3 buttons there for the most used networks by visitors to that page. If you don't know, then try A/B testing different buttons to figure out which ones get the most interaction (across all pages) so you can narrow down.

Then just throw everything away except the top 2-3 and use those. You'll be doing your visitors a favour by promoting Don't Make Me Think usability. Always include an "email" share option for those that are the exception and don't use the networks you've offered.

For instance:

  • technical audiences will likely use Twitter
  • in most countries, most people use Facebook now
  • MSN is a great option for broad non-technical audiences in European countries
  • Yahoo! might be a must for US audiences
  • etc.
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I think something like addThis would be your best solution. this way you only one button that can expand to use various social media sites. you could also use a sidebar widget similar to what sites like Mashable use on their blog posts. I don't know if that's an availible plug in or not, but I would imagine that it is as I'm sure I've seen it on other sites.

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If you have an entire page to work with, I don't think it would be such a disaster to have buttons for each of them. Each social-media-site icon is pretty much distinctive and I feel that once you provide enough whitespace between each (sufficiently large) icon, it will be usable - users would be able to quickly find the social media site that they're trying to share your content on.

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I'd try using a gradual reveal technique, for example:

  • You can either display the 3 most prominent ones and only when the user shares one of them, reveal one or a few more.
    If you must have a hint for the rest, add one icon that is just "..." and opens the rest.
  • Choose a board game layout or perhaps a puzzle board with the share options as pieces.
    Maybe when the user clicks to share one, if falls into place/moves/etc.
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I'm no fan of social media icons either, but with some audiences they do get enough use to earn their place. My preferred approach is to have the top three or so displayed, and the rest of the available icons shown with some disclosure link (text, graphic, even hover but that breaks on mobile).

This allows you to keep it clean, avoiding what Daniel Burka called the Nascar Effect of a bunch of logos running wild on your page.

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Personally, I wouldn't add Share buttons at all. They're a pain in the eye most times I come across them. Also, the people who think your page is worth sharing might use their favourite client anyway.

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