the question is pretty easy. What is better for the clicking rate. A thumbnail for a game with an border or with none ? (On a website)

No Border

With Border

Do you have any experience with that ?

Best Regards Marcel

  • I'm sure that "clicking rate" is not a measure for good UX. Also, why are you focusing on the border of the thumbnail? What would that be the only factor resulting in high or low click rates? Jul 24 '15 at 9:30
  • Well I think it partly is a measurement for good UX. It indicates that a user can fastly recognize where to click to play a game instead of bouncing off and thinking this site has not what I want. So I prefer to get a higher CTR on my thumbs. Therefore I asked which will result in an better UX. Will they recognize that thumb better with a border or not. And will they recognize it as a game-thumb and not as an advertisement for example which is also on the page and shows game-screenshots...
    – Marcel
    Jul 24 '15 at 10:01
  • I think that depends on a lot more than just border/no border. In order to get good answers here, it might help to post mockups of the different possibilities. Jul 24 '15 at 10:58
  • I added some screens. But the possibilites are infinite of course. I basically hoped to see that maybe some very experience UX guy could tell me that. An thumbnail with an border is less likely to be clicked by 8.7% or so :) Also I know that you could add some arrow to it and say: Click here. To break it down: I look for small changes that don't destroy the design but are effective and useful.
    – Marcel
    Jul 24 '15 at 12:21
  • I have no statistics or anything but personally I say border. To me the top one with no border looks more like a collage type graphic for advertisement.
    – DasBeasto
    Jul 24 '15 at 12:30

Go further & build some information architecture around the banners

From the design standpoint, the black borders look a bit out-of-date and obtrusive, so visually it's much better to have no borders. To differentiate your situation from a simple collage of ads, consider adding a couple lines of small type under each game. These could:

  • duplicate the title;
  • give some stats (like duration, popularity, etc)
  • include a subtle CTA link (like "Play Now")

This will make the choices super-clear to the user, and educate his decision. I understand that most likely you have limitations in screen space, but then it's worth to make the banners a bit smaller — and have clear information architecture in place.


I don't think in this particular case it matters as the amount of cognitive load because of the visuals is too much for line borders to make any difference. For the sake of answering I will say remove the borders but consider grouping or increasing the white space atleast.


Using borders is a good practice specially when you have some white background thumbnails after each other. I recommended to have a very light border so it will give you better balance and look and feel.

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