What does it mean to design for complex applications? Complex applications are defined as applications that are data heavy, with composite functionality and typically very niche to users who are experts in performing such tasks. I recently attended the Nielsen Norman Group
Usability Week during which I gained some valuable insights on the subject matter. I will share one of these insights with you today.
One of the most common rules of thumb for designing interfaces reads as such:
The less clicks the user has to do, the better the UI is.
However I am inclined to argue against the aforementioned rule in the context of complex apps. The number of clicks is not necessarily a good indicator of how efficient an application is. Perceived efficiency is the key factor here, and if the user has a very complex task to complete then the number of clicks are inevitably going to be higher than if the task had been light.
The question that a UX designer should not
ask is: How do we decrease the amount of clicks for the user.
Instead, the question should be: “Does the user feel like they easily achieved their goal?”