‘Pogo Sticking’ refers to when users bounce back and forth clicking on links from a search results page and hitting the back button almost right away. This behavior is a result of the lack of necessary information available to the user on the search results page. They can be forced to repeat this process many times over. You want to keep your users off the pogo stick.
User testing has shown that pogo sticking rarely results in the users finding what they are looking for. For e-commerce sites, the more a user pogo sticks, the less likely they will be converted into a buying customer. On non-e-commerce sites users who pogo stick end up only succeeding 11% of the time.
Preventing pogo sticking becomes an important challenge for the search results page UI to overcome. The strategy is to give the right information in the search results to stop the user from going to the page if it doesn’t have what they’re looking for.
Consider the following situation, a search on an ecommerce site lists a good selection of items based on the search query. The user clicks on an item only to find that the item is not in stock, so they pogo stick right back to the search results and their confidence level in the site is diminished. In this situation, adding an ‘Out of Stock’ message would have prevented the bouncing between pages.
This article is an excerpt from our white paper ‘Searching for an Advantage: Best Practices for Search User Interfaces’. To learn more about Pogo sticking and Search User Experience, download our white paper by filling out the form below.
Searching for an Advantage: Best Practices for Search User Interfaces
No More Pogo Sticking: Protect Users from Wasted Clicks https://www.nngroup.com/articles/pogo-sticking/