Skip to Main Content

Sep 16, 2011 | 1 minute read

Simple Way to Increase Interaction With Tabbed Navigation

written by Linda Bustos

Nearly 2 years ago, Get Elastic posted on the topic of tabbed boxes in ecommerce website design, namely, they are so easily overlooked by users.

The post received many fabulous comments, like Christian from the Baymard Institute:

In all usability tests I’ve ever done the users always tend to overlook tabs.
If you are forced to make tabs then at least obey to web conventions and make the links blue and underlined to minimize the “banner blindness” that occur when decorating your tabs.

Justin Palmer from testifies:

Since redesigning our product page on, I’ve noticed quite a few comments from customers who thought we removed features that are now behind tabs. We’re working on a/b testing a long, scrolling product page vs. the tabbed design. My gut tells me the tabbed version will lose.

Hey, I do like tabs, they clean up web design, allow for more content above the fold and allow for easy scanning of available content on a page. My only concern is they can fade into the background all-to-easily.

Perhaps Dell is on to something -- it emphasizes tabs with a verbal call to action "Find even more great options using the tabs below" and arrows to draw the eye to the tabs.

It's worth testing (usability testing or A/B testing) drawing attention to your tabbed boxes if you're married to your current design, but want to increase user interaction with tabbed navigation.

Looking for help with design and usability? Contact the Elastic Path consulting team at to learn how our ecommerce strategy and conversion optimization services can improve your business results.