Why List Posts You Have To Click Through Are Bad Web Design
When it comes to designing a website or deciding how a post on your site should be laid out, the priority should always be the user experience, rather than how it fits with your monetization model. While it is of course important that your site brings in as much money as possible, successful site owners will tell you that they do this by giving the users great content and a pleasant experience, which makes them keep on coming back and sharing the site with their friends.
Sadly, there are a lot of sites, even very big well known ones, that employ sneaky tactics to force you to click through to more pages and see more ads. One of the most commonly used is the one, which you have probably seen many times, where a list post or photo gallery is set up in such a way that you have to click a ‘next’ link and go to another page for each separate list item. Here is why this is horrible web design and should never be used on your own blog:
It Is Frustrating For 3G Users
While we tend to assume everyone has super fast broadband and can therefore cope with all of our information being presented in what ever kind of media we want, even if it is video, there are a lot of people out and about browsing the web on their phones and tablets via 3G or connecting their laptops on the fly with a 3G dongle. 3G is pretty fast and is fine for most of what we need to do, but even a two second wait to load a page is going to get frustrating if all it is is one picture and a caption to represent number 3 of the ’20 Worst Fashion Disasters at the Oscars’ or similar. Do you really think that user is going to have the staying power to click through all 20 of them? They will probably abandon the effort part way through, and go away annoyed with your site. Some users abandon on the first page as soon as they realize it is that kind of list. This is not good for your site.
It Makes You Look Cynical
Users are not stupid. Most internet savvy people know that the only reason to have posts that work like this is so that people will click through more pages, giving you more hits, and so that they will see more ads. People don’t like to feel they are being willfully inconvenienced for the benefit of your business, and this gives them a negative view of your site and your organization as a whole.
It Is Poor Form From An Accessibility Perspective
Accessibility is critical to good web design, and every site owner should, where possible, follow the W3C guidelines about making an accessible site that people with disabilities, slow connections or other things inhibiting them from having a ‘normal’ web experience can still use easily. This approach really flies in the face of that concept, and therefore excludes a lot of potential users from actually enjoying or getting value from your content.
So, when you post lists or picture galleries, put the whole thing on one page. Your users will thank you!