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I currently have a component that is part of our design system, this component has some unusual behaviour - being that the entire element is a clickable link. The bounding box for the clickable area is shown by the blue dashed line.

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Now there is a requirement for a secondary link to be added - which requires changing the behaviour of the component.

Currently analytics show that users are indeed clicking the entire bounding box, especially on mobile - this behaviour is reflected on Desktop.

Here is my question - In this case, do I ignore the Users current behaviour in favour of more conventional UX patterns i.e. the clickable Link should be the link itself OR do I follow User behaviour and maintain the entire bounding box as the clickable link.

That said, I am aware that the data is in favour of having the bounding box be the clickable link because that is how it currently works - if we were to change this we'd like see more Dead Clicks.

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    Designing your cards to have more than one action is out of the question? material.io/components/cards#actions Aug 29, 2022 at 10:21
  • That is the requirement - however the issue is do we update this component to accommodate two actions and ignore current user behaviour or do we maintain it the way it is based on how users are using it. I suppose my question is - in what cases does is it ok to ignore user behaviour in favour of more conventional patterns. Aug 29, 2022 at 11:07

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Ignore the user behaviour and you will likely need to modify your design at some stage as they can potentially find it confusing or difficult to use the product and this could affect your adoption or retention rate.

Even though you have data from analytics, you should do some user research to drill in on exactly why this behaviour is happening and what the mental model of the users are. This will allow you to assess the impact of the change rather than speculate on the design decision and then using analytics again to make another decision.

So to your question, I would only ignore user behaviour in favour of more conventional patterns when the research supports the hypothesis that it will provide a better user experience and that it makes sense to do so from a business and technical perspective as well.

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You can do 2 things:

  1. Look at whether the increase in dead clicks also comes with a decrease in conversion. (or whatever metric you're interested in optimizing)

  2. Change the styling of the component slightly, maybe background color, so that old users know that something has visibly changed & its not just unclickable because of a bug

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