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The Background

I've been investigating what parts of the website our users are mostly using. The access bar is the uppermost area of the website, covering Site Map to Translate.

enter image description here

A specific section that I thought was barely used actually showed up with 5.8% usage (I expected 0-2%!).

enter image description here

So naturally, I wanted to know what the users were actually using it for. I monitored the Access Bar usage, and this is what showed up :

enter image description here

(Pardon the A- and Font Resize bit, I fine-tuned it afterwards to all register as Font Resize)

Most people (86.9%) are only using the Access Bar for the Contact link.


The Question

Given the data that I have, what should I do now?

Should I make the Contact link the first item in the bar? It would make it as the first thing they see, but I feel that it might confuse returning users with the changed ordering.

  • I thought about editing the title of your post, but I can't do it without a total rewrite, so I'm leaving this up to you. I was thinking something along these lines: "How do I take advantage of usage data to improve my website?" I'm suggesting a shorter, clearer title to entice more people to read and answer your question. – JeromeR Aug 24 '15 at 10:22
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Your next steps may vary depending on problem which you're trying to solve. Your study shows that some areas are not very important for most of your users and this means that removing/moving those areas (links) to other part of the page won't harm conversion.

Also, looking at your bar in header I would suggest to group links by meaning. You can use different styling, spacing, font size etc. (You still can try and move some rarely used links to footer.)

So now I would recommend to clearly state your business goal, then develop ideas of alternative design and run some A/B or MVT test which will show you the best design which leads to highest CR of your key metric.

  • Great answer. I'm adding to this idea with my own answer. – JeromeR Aug 24 '15 at 7:16
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After you do what @user71432 suggests in a different answer on this page…

Use the frequency-commonality grid to help you decide

You could apply the method that Isaacs and Walendowski recommend in Designing from both sides of the screen. It involves looking at both the frequency (how often) and the commonality (how many users) of each control, and then making decisions accordingly about how prominently, or how buried, those features should be in a UI that has limited space and that needs to be uncluttered and simple.

Here's the grid:

Frequency-Commonality grid

To learn more about this, check out the frequency-commonality answer in this related question about whether functions should be hidden.

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