Measuring User Experience by Number of Clicks

There is a school of thought in user experience (UX) design that says that a user must reach from his starting point to his desired place by clicking the minimum number of times. I remember having to redesign screens for a reporting engine where I was asked to throw away a week’s effort and come up with a new design where it took lesser number of clicks for a user to generate a report using the tool. This was in the year 2010. But I guess this perception must have changed by now.

A few months back, Google made a change to its Home Page by giving all its apps a proper spot on its Home Page. Previously a few of these apps appeared on the Home Page. The most important ones appeared on the screen and the rest had to be opened up by a click of the mouse. This change sounds good now, right? After all, Google’s apps are so popular that they should be given a proper place on the Home Page.

But here is my question? Measured by number of user clicks – it doesn’t make sense for me to do a click to achieve something for which I had to previously did’t have to click. This to me is bad design. If this was bad, what confuses me even more is that clicking the icon doesn’t give me all the apps. I have to click another time to open up a second set of apps. To open any app outside of the first 9 , I have to click on ‘More’.

Google Home Page

It would be simplistic to assume that Google didn’t think this decision through. This was after all, a change on the most visited web page on the internet. I’m sure Google had its reasons, but they don’t seem intuitive to me.

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