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My site is a content heavy blogging platform/community. I was trying to understand the following two points:

1. How does showing a "Next Story" button to user vs. showing a listing of 3-5 Related Stories compare in terms of user experience and trade offs? The Related Stories alternative will list the recommended stories in a vertical listing and include a story picture, story title, brief excerpt and creator name. This "Related Story" listing as well as next button will be at the bottom of screen and visible when user scrolls down to page bottom.I understand showing "Related Stories" offers more for user to choose from and hence will increase probability of user to click and read more which is the end objective. Is there something else I am missing?

2. If I go through with the relates stories option considering it seems to be used across lot of content sites is there any best practice suggesting how many related stories works best? I understand showing say 3 vs 5 stories may enhance likelihood of showing user something user wants read more of but again more options makes the decision for the user difficult.

Thanks.

  • Your question is interesting, so +1 from me. Could you provide an example of the genre or type of content on your site? Could you provide data about current browsing behaviour and how the site currently presents links? – JeromeR Aug 30 '15 at 11:03
  • @JeromeR, The site consists of some poetry and some short stories right now. We are just a month old in terms of beta launch, we already see people starting to write novels on the platform. So content will be very user based and not hard bound by genre. We intend to use basic tags and basic recommendation systems to define related/next stories. Website is basic to concept test and also we did not add any next because there would have been not much to link to, we plan using 1 of above options, test and redo as needed. Right now bounce rates are 50-65%. My website: goo.gl/pGf7JS – V_C Aug 31 '15 at 14:29
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The best way to do it is after the End of the Current Story.

The only way you can be sure the User loves the content he sees if he reaches the bottom of the page reading your story. So, instead of forcing him stories to the side or forcing the next story to appear on scrolling or other tactics, keep it simple.

If the user ends the current story or scoop of the day from your blog, present him with another one, of course with algorithms to sort out the best one for him.

Or you could have something on the homepage as a different section/tab to show him Recommended Reads.

Pocket does this effectively in the app.

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Also, go with one story. Your end game is to offer the user one story that would definitely be read by the user. Showing multiple only will confuse him. You'll definitely need to work on the algorithm to do this, but this will also mean the best curated content.

From there, it's a continuous cycle of recommended stories.

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scrolling the next relevant story

I don't know your goal but keeping the user at the site is important if it is content driven site.

I think that the page can bring automatically the next relevant story. The relevancy rate can be calculated with the time that user is still staying. For enhancing your algorithm, you will need options and having 3-5 options should be the drawback solution.

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