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Issue: Site users clicking the title tag of my website's product pages.

Over the last six months a total of seven percent of my customers who visited product pages decided to click on the product title expecting some additional result. With heatmaps and recordings I have confirmed that...

  • It wasn't an unintentional click caused by locations of links from the previous page.
  • That customers are scrolling the page and returning to the top to click this heading.
  • That at times they click the heading multiple times in different places.

I can't for the life of me discover their expectation and currently do not have access to a tool to interact with them directly. What do you think may be causing this habit? Is this a new trend on websites that are teaching my customer's to expect something different? I'm at a loss.

enter image description here

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  • 6
    I'm not a designer, but as a customer, I usually try to hover/click on titles in hope of showing the full content/tooltips (because the title (maybe) is truncated/ellipsized and/or not show as much information as other products title)
    – Tr1et
    Jun 24, 2021 at 5:11
  • 69
    Or I'm copying the title so that I can search if the product can be bought somewhere else cheaper, or so that I can send the name of the thing to someone, and so on...
    – mishan
    Jun 24, 2021 at 7:54
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    Sometimes a heading leads to a "canonical" page for the item (e.g. you're on a "reviews" subpage for the product and the heading leads to the main page with product details). Also, some people tend to (unconsciously) click like mad on things they're reading.
    – gustafc
    Jun 24, 2021 at 9:53
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    Do your product pages have content below the product images, or is all of it below the product heading ("in the sidebar")? As a customer, I would expect some content, e.g. product description, properties, customer reviews below the image, instead of all of it being in the sidebar. If there is no content, I might mistakenly think I somehow went to the product images instead of the main product page, and would want to navigate back to the main product page by clicking the product heading. (I'm not a designer. I have been confused by IKEA's i.m.o. unintutive overuse of the sidebar)
    – tjalling
    Jun 24, 2021 at 10:23
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    Is it roughly the same on all product pages, or are there specific product pages where this happens? If the latter, check if the images/description matches the title, or if there are enough details in the description.
    – jcaron
    Jun 24, 2021 at 11:31

7 Answers 7

60

The user might be clicking on it without the expectation of any interaction. Would you be recording clicks for actions like:

  • Selecting text to be copied
  • Mobile users scrolling
  • Right clicking to open web browsers context menu
  • Clicking on the page to focus the web browser window
  • To close any drop down menus from the top bar of the website

In most of these cases the user would want to target areas that they expect no behavior from otherwise they might trigger an unwanted action.

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  • 23
    This too was my first guess -- I often click+drag to select the title of product listings to copy the text and then go do comparison searches on other sites. Jun 24, 2021 at 5:59
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    If they're corporate customers, a purchasing system can mean that they have to copy-paste the item description etc. into a form (even a spreadsheet form which is then emailed!). They may also copy the address from the address bar, but I'm not sure you'd pick that up (similar to @RoddyoftheFrozenPeas's comment)
    – Chris H
    Jun 24, 2021 at 8:44
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    I think you may be hitting the answer on the head with regards to copying the text. A lot of these clicks are double clicks which would select a chunk of my headers but my tracking software wouldn't show the highlight. Great thought!
    – Huginn
    Jun 24, 2021 at 13:54
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    On mobile, the only way to select the text of a link is to select text that is not a link and then adjust the beginning and end markers. The title is a good candidate. Jun 24, 2021 at 15:02
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    I'd like to add to the list: 'clicking a non-interactive area of the page to clear any other text selections in order to get the standard right-click context menu on the next right-click, rather than the text-selected context-menu'.
    – Skrrp
    Jun 24, 2021 at 15:15
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Scrolling down and then up and then clicking on non-interactive things is a sign that the user was looking for something, didn't find it, and is now trying less-obvious interactions to see if it'll be revealed.

Without knowing more about your product or UI, it's hard to guess what they're missing, but I'd bet that a task test with 5-12 users would be revealing. Try watching them move through your most common flows while thinking aloud, and see if that provides answers.

7

I would also click on the title, it's the area of greatest visual importance as it's currently displayed on the page.

The three most visually relevant points are the picture, the title, and the orange button.

The orange button has an immediate action well described on the button label, so this click action is relegated, leaving only the title and the image in importance, transforming them into actionable areas.

If the title doesn't have any action, reducing the font size and giving more visual relevance to the interaction elements would be enough to avoid a false expectation of use.

enter image description here

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    Just to confirm, you're advocating having the product (and page) title slightly larger than the "Write a review link", and smaller than the price?
    – Jake Lee
    Jun 24, 2021 at 7:34
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    I advocate giving more visual relevance to the elements with click actions, my visual examples are usually very exaggerated for a better understanding of the answer
    – Danielillo
    Jun 24, 2021 at 7:58
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    The title is important to even understand what the product is. The add to cart button is not the only important element in e-commerce. Nobody will buy anything if they don't even understand it. But aside from that you're right that the title could be a little smaller and the CTA as wide as the whole content block of text.
    – Big_Chair
    Jun 24, 2021 at 12:49
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I often click titles like this in e-shops due to two connected reasons:

  1. The description of the item is too short. Especially if nature of the item is expected to be understood by certain properties, I would expect it to have required information and multiple images present.
    • Example leading to clicking anywhere:
    ear buds for smartphone - color: white - cable length 1.2 m - (end)
    I am going under impression "full description must be hidden somewhere, it is not possible they want to sell me something without introducing it".

  2. Many pages broke the standards. Sometimes, clicking a title without indication of action (or at least on hover) really leads to rewarding result, for example to expanding details or pop-up with details. It is sufficient to see this in 2 sites of 100 and then find myself checking titles whenever I think I may be missing some information.

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    Combining this with the accepted answer - quite often, especially for lower value products which tend to have somewhat lacking descriptions, I tend to double click the title to select it, so I can try and find manufacturer's website for the actual specification.
    – jaskij
    Jun 24, 2021 at 14:55
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There is also the too-prevalent issue of things flying around the screen while the page is loading. Maybe they were trying to click the add to cart button but the page shifted underneath them?

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In the modern web, not everything clickable is obviously marked up that way. Users might be clicking on the title because they have been trained to do that from other UI in which that action is rewarded by some useful behavior, like switching to a different view about the same item.

Now while typing the above, I went off in search for some examples of this. The I realized that, ironically, there is one right here: the title of this Q&A item, "Odd click behavior where my users are clicking non-linked headings" is clickable. It will just navigate to the same page. It has no tooltip help, and mo markup suggesting it behaves like a link. I see a browser status pop-up at the bottom of the window showing the target URL, that's all.

I'm sure that in the past, I have Shift-clicked StackOverflow titles in order to open a copy in a new tab.

If you have a scrolling view which lists more than one product, users might be expecting that if they click on the title, they will get a page with just that product. This would be useful even if that page provides no additional details; with Shift-click, the user can build up a list of tabs of products they are interested in. Tabs are nicely persistent across browser restarts, so can be used as temporary bookmarks.

If, say, Amazon didn't have an "add to wishlist" button in addition to "add to cart", that's what you might do on Amazon to build a shortlist of products you're interested in.

0

When looking at your page it seems to be about

  1. the photo
  2. starting an order transaction
  3. the product

In that order. If I'm looking for information about the product I'd scroll down and if I don't find a sufficient amount of information I'd click on the title hoping to get to a more description-focused page.

In order to test this theory you could give users the task to answer specific questions about the product or gather information about the product. If my explanation is correct such tasks should lead to a high number of title clicks.

Possible things that might help:

  • Move the title to the top over both columns.
  • Reduce the size of the photo.
  • Move the Add to cart button the the side, so it doesn't separate the title from the description.
  • Make the description richer
    • adding more information
    • making the description bigger
    • making it more prominent.
    • making it better organized/structured

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