Statstastic! Jakob loves his stats

I am currently reading Jakob Nielsen’s new book “Prioritizing Web Usability” and would highly recommend it for any user experience designer. The book is packed with some excellent statistics and I thought I would share a few of them with you.

Average visit

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 homepage

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.

Interior pages

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.

Page linking

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.

Search engines

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.

  • Definitley plan on picking it up… I just finished “Don’t make me think!” and would like to read more. Statistics I find are extremely helpful in backing up design elements to clients. Many clients I come across think that all users are like them, and if I can say 77% of users are not even going to scroll through this page it is pretty hard to argue.
    Which reminds me of a time where I debated with a client who claimed people use e-mail over calling via phone because it’s “supposed” to be quicker…
    Simply typing in the first field takes longer than dailing a number…

  • Sounds like a good source of information. The more science we can point to, the easier it will be to sell the importance of good web design.

  • It’s funny you should bring this up as I’m reading the very same book at this time as well. I share your feelings about the book. No doubt, Neilsen knows his stuff but he does kind of come off a bit supercilious.

  • Mark UK

    Thanks for sharing this. I found Nielsen’s older book quite useful (Designing Web Usability) so may pick this up too.
    My main critisism of “Designing Web Usability” was that it was ironically laid out very badly and not a very user-friendly read at all (e.g. comments about an image on a following page, not next to the image where it would make sense). I hope they’ve corrected that.

  • webuser

    Yeah. Jakob Nielson is pompous and condescending 100% of the time. I can’t believe how much he promotes himself.

  • Ben Moorhouse

    He he sorry, just had to notice the comical value of the first post (no offence at all Ross).
    “…if I can say 77% of users are not even going to scroll through this page it is pretty hard to argue.”
    Yes, because 77% of users wont even see what you have to say, never mind reply!
    As I said though, no offence meant to Ross at all, just made me chuckle and I thought I would share.