Web Development - Make Sure Your Thumbnail Image Links Send Users To Someplace Useful!

One typical way of ensuring that your Web page downloads quickly is to include thumbnail images--ie, very small images that the user can click on to see the full image. Here's a typical implementation:

  • <img src="thumbnail.jpg" height="100" width="150" alt="Thumbnail of my wonderful product. Click here to see the big picture.">

A potential problem with this, however, is that users often expect that clicking on something will take them someplace useful. This is especially important in eCommerce sites, where anything that causes your users who haven't brought anything yet to lose interest means YOU lose.

In the example shown here, the users will see a larger image, but that's all. If the user wants to find out more about your product--or to buy it--he now has to press the Back button on his browser. What a waste. So why make the link go to a nice Web page that includes the bigger picture, but also a description, price information, and a way to buy your product? Just change the link as follows:

  • Then, design big-picture.html so it contains everything a user would want.

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