Startup call to action benchmark
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Startup call to action benchmark

on / by Jurian Baas

While looking for inspiration on the design of call-to-action buttons, we came across a great thread on Quora about good looking startup homepages. The homepages that are listed show common design patterns and call-to-action buttons that we can test.

Top performer Xero

Test design

We randomly picked ten homepages from the Quora thread. We recruited participants via our Twitter account. We asked “Where would you click to start using X?” for every homepage. We made 2 tests with opposing task order to negate the learning effect. In total 290 people participated.

I used a spreadsheet in Google Docs to calculate the geometric mean of the time it took to click on a page.

Users click on the call to action button on the site of both Xero and Loggly in 5.6 seconds. On average participants took 8.5 seconds to click.

The geometric mean of click times on the tested sites
The geometric mean of click times on the tested sites

The difference between the five best performers and the rest is quite big. Why would that be? Our first guess is that the bottom five have their call to action further away down (below the fold), and they have more elements that can be interacted with (three or more buttons, forms, a lot of copy and buttons, etcetera).

What do you think? Why do people click faster on Xero, Loggly and Heroku, while having a harder time on the sites of Square, Geckoboard and eRollover? We would love to hear your opinion about these test results.


Homepage Geometric mean (s)
Xero 5.6
Loggly 5.6
Heroku 5.9
CityPockets 5.9
Versions 7.4
Cornerstone 8.7
BangMe 10.4
Square 10.4
Geckoboard 11.2
eRollover 14.3

Xero — 5.6 seconds

Xero -- 5.6 seconds

Loggly — 5.6 seconds

Loggly -- 5.6 seconds

Heroku — 5.9 seconds

Heroku -- 5.9 seconds

CityPockets — 5.9 seconds

CityPockets -- 5.9 seconds

Versions — 7.4 seconds

Versions -- 7.4 seconds

Cornerstone — 8.7 seconds

Cornerstone -- 8.7 seconds

BangMe — 10.4 seconds

BangMe -- 10.4 seconds

Square — 10.4 seconds

Square -- 10.4 seconds

Geckoboard — 11.2 seconds

Geckoboard -- 11.2 seconds

eRollover — 14.3 seconds

eRollover -- 14.3 seconds

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Article by

Jurian Baas

Interested in usability, UX, philosophy, cognitive psychology and the social implications of modern science and technology. I love going to indie concerts and movies.

Share your thoughts

  • Jurian,

    In my opinion one cannot but notice the similarity in the design of the Xero and Loggly web sites as opposed to the rest. They have ample “white” space and one prominent, highly contrasting call-to-action button located towards the left side of the screen (i.e. where most users look for navigation) and above the fold. In simple words, all the key usability principles are in place. Navigation is correctly placed at the top of the screen in a smaller font thus creating less clutter.

    Conversely, look at the other sites – on Heroku, the call to action is on the right and only slightly above the fold. It also competes with text. In the Citypockets, Versions and Cornerstone sites, this is further complicated with the introduction of 2 buttons so users need to think and decide, hence slowing the process. Worse results come obviously with the introduction of additional content and more call-to-action buttons / links.

    All in all I think you really took some excellent readings from this study. Well done and keep up the good work!


  • Brooke Bellows

    Hi Jurian,

    I enjoyed reading your post! I was wondering if you would be willingly to explain why you thought click time was the best metric to measure, as opposed to a click accuracy or some other metric predicting conversion rate.


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