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Any given presentation of information should consist of one primary user goal that stands out. Other user goals may be present, but they are hierarchically lower than the primary goal.
- A page providing information on how to open an IRA is limited in scope to "How to open an IRA". A "Related Articles" section in a non-prominent area such as the bottom or right rail of the page may link to other user goals like "Decide whether an IRA is for me", but that content does not appear on this page, because it's not the page's primary goal.
- A transaction page to integrate two applications is limited to the form necessary to add the details.
- A menu page allowing the user to browse the content on your site is limited to menu choices. "Log in" may be present in a non-prominent area but is not the primary task.
Counter-examples (don't do these):
- A page providing information on how to open an IRA also includes eight advertisements, some of which are placed in the primary flow of the article, some of which are animated, as well as callouts/snippits of other articles such as "Decide whether an IRA is for me" so that the user has to constantly search for the content they're looking for as they read the article. The constant interruptions cause understanding to be low and frustrate the user.
- A transaction page to integrate two applications includes not only the form to add the details, but also six other types of forms in a tabset, making it difficult for the user to ascertain exactly which forms they have to fill out and whether they've done everything necessary.
- A menu page allowing the user to browse the content on the page also includes a prominent "log in" area, a prominent carousel of articles that may or may not indicate what content is on the site, and multiple other marketing elements. The user is left unable to ascertain what the site is offering because they are overwhelmed by choices without a clear structure.