The aggregate data for Down-to-Child links are only partially useful because they do
not take into account the two main types of pages that contain
Down-to-Child links on an e-commerce site: Product Category
Pages and Product List Pages. These types of pages show
distinct layout patterns related to their particular function.
The function of Product Category Pages is to help users
find the type of product they are looking for. The function
of a Product List Pages is to help the user make an individual
Product Category Pages
Product Category pages displayed one of two
distinct page layout approaches:
- Navigation-Centric: Where
Down-to-Child links were listed in the main content area
of the page.
Where Down-to-Child links were listed on the left, right,
or top portion of the page, reserving the main content
area to promote featured products.
The example below shows a navigation-centric
approach where the page layout is tightly focused presenting
Down the Child links.
The next example shows the promotion-centric approach. Down-to-Child links are presented on the left side of the page;
the main content area of the page is devoted to promoting
Dresses and "Great White Shirts."
A slight majority of Product Category pages used the promotion-centric
approach (57%) over the navigation-centric approach (43%).
The promotion-centric approach likely represents a greater
emphasis on product merchandising in the site’s design
Product List Pages
The basic layout of Product List pages was
extremely similar across sites: all located Down-to-Child
links in the Main Content area of the page—often including
thumbnail photographs of products, as shown below, to help
users make a product selection.
In some cases, Product List pages provided
functionality that allowed users to manipulate the display
of Down-to-Child links on the page. This functionality included
the ability to filter the links to view a subset (such as
only those items from a certain manufacturer), sort the
links according to various criteria (such as price or popularity),
and turn on/off product photographs.