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Articles on blogs/magazines often have a list of "suggested posts" at the end of each article.

Obviously, different sites might have better results with a different number of suggested posts. However, since I can't run testing myself at this time, and since there is probably similarity between most sites in terms of performance, I'm wondering if there is any research on what the optimal amount of suggested posts is.

An example would be if there is research showing that suggesting only 3 posts leads to better click-through rates than suggesting 4 posts because it reduces the number of choices, or if there is research showing that an odd number of posts is preferable.

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This is really a question about Subitizing: Put a couple circles on a piece of paper. Just by looking at it you instinctively know how many circles there are. However, there reaches a point where if you keep adding circles, you will have to consciously count the circles to know how many are on the page. After a certain point, our mind can't take everything in at once and has to slow down to really comprehend what you're looking at.

Because of this, the answer to your question is 3-5 suggested articles. According to research done by nngroup (I'll update this answer if I can find the article), that is the number of items in a list which people are likely to best comprehend instantaneously and not feel overwhelmed. If you look at other sites, you will find they also aim for around the same margin.

  • +1 For introducing me to the term subitizing, thanks :) – Michael Heraghty Apr 30 '18 at 17:04

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