Many people choose the first option that looks plausible

Humans don't act optimally. As Herbert Simon pointed out many years ago, we "satisfice." We trade off time for benefit - often without consciously realizing we are doing it. We make decisions based on what we see, without carefully exploring all the options.

Many busy web users click as soon as they see a link that looks like it might work for what they need. And the younger your web audience is, the more likely they are to jump to act.

Here are some implications of the realization that many people click on the first link they see that might help them:

• Think carefully about the order of information on your pathway pages.

• Put the most important information and links high on the page.

• If you want people to select one link over another, put the one you want them to select first.

Many web users who listen to the screen also choose the first option they hear that sounds reasonable. Older web users, however, tend to be more cautious clickers, looking over all the options before choosing. If you put the most important information and the links most people want high on the page, you'll be helping all your web users.

Edith, the persona you met in Chapter 2, is an example of an older web user who is a cautious clicker.

For more on older adults as cautious clickers, visit www.aarp.org/ olderwiserwired/oww-resources.

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