When a user is researching a new topic or trying to buy a purchase for the first time, they visit an average of 3.2 sites in addition to any search engine they might use to find the sites. On average they spend 1 minute and 49 seconds on each site with the exception of the final site they visit while trying to complete their task. In this case, they spent an average of 3 minutes and 49 seconds.
The initial page
Interior pages account for 60% of initial page views with the homepage making up the other 40%.
The average user spends on 30 seconds on your homepage and will read only 10 to 20 words. What is more they will only scroll 23% of the time.
Users will spend slightly longer evaluating an internal page they initially arrive at. You can expect a user to spend 45 to 60 seconds on such pages. However, that time is reduced to 27 seconds on subsequent pages. This all means that you cannot expect users to read much more than 100 words of any individual page they visit.
Surprisingly almost half of the links people clicked on within an interior page are found in the content body on the page. The other half was primarily made up of clicks on top, left or right navigation, with only a small percentage clicking on footer links.
93% of users viewing a search engines results page did not go beyond the first page of results. Of those users, only 47% even bothered to scroll that first page. Finally, a massive 51% of users simply clicked on the first result in the listings.
Thoughts so far
Although I am only part way through the book, I am finding it incredibly enlightening. My only criticism is that Nielsen often comes across as being full of his own self-importance and spends too much time initially promoting his own companies activities. Despite that however, I would thoroughly recommend this book to anybody interested in website usability.