We have seen numbers help users to take critical decisions and have an overview where they are headed and how they are interacting with the application.
Let me illustrate it by examples, in any e-mail client, in the navigation area, we display the number of messages sent, draft and available in the inbox. These numbers help the users to be aware about different sections of the application without being overwhelmed what number of e-mails are present.
In the above illustration the number “6623” helps the user know that 6623 number of e-mails are present in the inbox, taking the same rule user knows that 49 drafts are available.
Linkedin needs improvement
Linkedin has used this strategy to its benefit in the top level of the information cycle effectively. For example it tells the number of e-mail is 2 – but i don’t think this is right,
A question – is this number 2 indicates the total number of e-mail present or new messages received. This the user will know when he becomes a regular user of liked in. For the record 2 shows the new messages received whom you have not read.
Linked in should also include numbers in “Requests to join”. this will let the user know that some requests are pending that he needs to approve.
SHOULD WE USE THIS ONLY IN E-MAIL SECTIONS ?
I suggest no, we should extend this to other parts of the application, where there is a need.
When to use this?
We should use this when the below 3 conditions are present.
1. Number – the number which will be displayed should be countable and should represent a quantity, i.a number of friendship requests, drafts etc
2. Decisive – user should be able to make a good decision based on the numbers displayed.
3. Need – The user need should be there to display the numbers.
Let us see some good examples
Use this feature in the application in your designs and you can make the user’s life easy.
Need more suggestions or help regarding similar areas please contact firstname.lastname@example.org