Link Preview Research Results

How we did the research

  • Recruited 5 readers for remote observation

  • Guided each participant through a set of tasks

  • Reviewed notes and video recordings of sessions

  • Analysis

Areas of Confusion

The most frustration comes from navigation or from trying to dismiss or move out of the card.

Recommendation: Allow the card to be slid out of the way; this is what participants tried to do.

Participants frequently were taken to the link's article on accident because they did not understand that the entire card was a clickable link. Most people scrolled through, trying to find more information on the card.


Recommendation: Have a button specifically for taking the user to the link article, to provide guidance

The card image being full-width creates doubt about whether this card is a new page, the photo is on the same page, or something stacked is going on.

Recommendation: Eliminate or isolate the lead image

It is sometimes unclear if the new article that has been clicked through to is, indeed, an article.

Recommendation: Help users understand the two contexts better up front

What works well

The Link Preview was well received and exciting for people. For example, Adam Wyland want to explore more links. "I just want to play with it immediately."

There is generally not frustration around the popup action of the link inspector. 

Though there was some confusion at first, people were able to learn quickly and integrated link inspecting into their reading flows

Answers to our questions

  • Can a user understand how to navigate to destination article from the preview? Not exactly. A lot of accidents happen because the entire card is clickable.
  • Did the preview provide enough context to be useful? (Did the user still need to go to the next article to get the information they needed) - it might be use to think about this in terms of “hits” and “misses”. Yes, in the overwhelming majority of cases.
  • Did the preview experience feel like a quick lookup? Yes, once the user became familiar with the feature.
  • Did it detract from the main article, or did it feel like it enabled you to get more context? Overall, no, it did not detract from the main article or experience.

These questions were asked of us in this doc outlining link inspector research objectives


Link Preview Testing Results

By Sherah Smith

Link Preview Testing Results

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