6 thoughts on “How Many Links?”

  1. It’s how links are organised that’s important, not simply the number. Edward Tufte cites the frequently-visited homepage of the New York Times as a prime example of this principle, while Jared Spool often uses the McMaster Carr DIY website from a few years back as an example. (They’ve since redesigned and now use ajax to categorise the links even more clearly. There is still a huge number though.)

  2. Yes, although I suppose I was wondering about that organisation rather than the absolute number – but thought I’d do the count anyway.

    Fundamentally, if you load a page and your eyeballs start to vibrate with confusion at what you see, then that’s probably a good indication of lack of organisation I think. This is certainly the case for me with MoneySavingExpert.

    Tufte’s NYT example is slightly circular, since newsprint has a long history of presenting information in a very dense way, so replicating that on the web isn’t going to be huge problem for their readers. As an aside, it’s interesting that sites like that took so long to wake up to the online utility of the print layouts they’d been using. Perhaps this was a legacy of early attempts at IA for the web by Morville et.al., which forbade it, and which now look pretty silly with hindsight.

  3. Then there’s also the issue of whether anyone actually cares about decent layout. I would think that the value of the content of MSE for most of its users far outweighs its aesthetic arrangement. In fact, I bet if they tried to tidy it up they’d be met with a deluge of complaints. eBay and Amazon are also great examples of that.

  4. True – I have to say I much preferred the ORG website before – the new one is prettier but I liked just seeing their posts when you landed on the homepage.

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