An usability and Universal Design investigation of the three-click rule for navigation.
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Purpose and research questions: The aim of this research paper is to understand the relationships between “Three-clicks rule” and users' experience and to find out if Universal Design is negatively affected if the “Three-click rule” is not implemented in the web design, how are the performance aspects affected and users feel about the interface which fulfils the “Three-clicks rule” in comparison to the websites without implementing the “Three-clicks rule”. The scope of the project and limitations: For this experimental study two identical working prototypes of the websites were created. One of the websites follows the “Three-clicks rule” and another has a free structure. The functionality of prototypes was limited to fulfil only the needs for this research. Method and evaluation done: The experimental study took place according to the prepared scenario and an empirical method was used. 20 participants executed 10 tasks on each website version and evaluated their perception with help of a questionnaire. The results were analysed to find the answers on research questions and to confirm or refute the hypotheses. Discoveries: The analysis of the average speed, intuitiveness, easiness and general rating of different website versions showed that website version based on the “Three-clicks rule” received much more positive responses in comparison with website version based on free structure. Conclusions and suggestions: It was made a conclusion that Universal Design is negatively affected if the “Three-clicks rule” is not implemented in the web design. There should be reasons why the three-click rule is quite popular and still followed by many designers and marketologs. Therefore this rule is worth attention and more studies around it.