I agree with Brett, you can make your logo a link to the home page, but you also need a text link or button that clearly says "Home" or "Home Page".
Also, I always use ALT text on the logo -- something like:
<img src="logo.gif" alt="Clicking the XYZ logo from any page on this website will take you directly to our home page...">
I also use a "Home" text link as close to the upper right corner of the page, (e.g.- at the left of a horizontal navigation bar or at the top of a left-column group of navigation links).
To make things as easy as possible for the user, I also place a "Home" link at the bottom of each page so users will not have to scroll up to find a link or use the BACK button.
I suggest using all three:
1. Logo in upper left corner as link to home page
2. Top of page "Home" text link
3. Bottom of page "Home" text link
A "home" link is needed even if an image link is also present.
I just want to add that the "home" link might benefit from being called something else, unless of course your website is about homes. Google for example calls their home link "web".
Every page on your site gives that link a vote for it's anchor text.
>> I always use ALT text on the logo <<
It is the title attribute that should provide the pop-up tool-tip text on mouseover for a link.
The fact that alt does this in IE, is a bug in IE. That is not the intended purpose of the alt text.
|It would make sense then that in the more metropolitan areas, where there are a higher number of advanced users, it would be safe to make the assumption that most of them would know this but in the more rural or smaller metro areas, it is not a safe assumption. |
Yep, those of us out here in fly over country seem to always be on the short end of the stick. I've heard rumors the big city folks even have indoor plumbing, gasoline engine vehicles and schools that go way past the 6th grade.
FWIW, I've earned my living online for several years running now and I've never thought to click on a logo here at WW, Yahoo, eBay, etc. to return to the home page - until I read this thread. But since I live out here in the backwaters, I guess I have a good excuse.
If I want my visitors to be able to return to the home page, I provide a "Home" link and put it where they expect it.
When appropriate, I even use an old technique from the stone ages and put "Click Here" links on the site from time to time.
There is an exception, however. I encourage all my competitors to avoid "Home" links. And while you're at it, I encourage all my competitors to assume your visitors want to see your cute video automatically upon visiting, along with whatever whizbang bells and whistles you can come up with.
I prefer to call all my home pages the 'front page'. Using the word 'Home' to describe the front page of a website has never made sense to me.
I don't like "Home" or "Front Page," I would rather something like "Widget World" so you can tell search engines where it goes and people can find their way back home easily...if they are too dumb to realize that Widget World (name of the site/products) is going to take you home, then they are probably too dumb to get the right thing and will be returning it anyway, LOL.
[edited by: WiseWebDude at 9:37 pm (utc) on Sep. 5, 2007]
On a small site (<10 pages), I will often call the home page 'Welcome', with the link at the top (for vertical nav) or left (for horizontal nav) on each page. Users seem to know it's a link to the home page because of the location of the link. I always link the logo too.
|I find that irrelevant. The question was whether the main logo of a site need to contain a link back to the homepage (the way webmasterworld's logo is linked), and do visitors care? |
Actually that was NOT the question.
The question was if you need a link OTHER than a logo link.
And the answer is: DUH! - of course you do.
I'd say better safe then sorry and I add the link. Doesn't hurt and just gives them more then one way to go where they want to go.
[edited by: Miriam at 12:03 am (utc) on Sep. 6, 2007]
I have run software on our site which shows a heat map of where people click and I was surprised to find that even thou we get thousands of visitors a day not very many people click on our logo in the top left to go back to the home page. Even thou it is linked to the home page from every page.
Plenty of visitors click on the text link to our home page which doesn't say home but instead is the primary keyphrase that our website is about. Because the "home" link is located at the top of our menu on every page, I guess visitors just assume that its the home link, and after they have clicked it once they probably know where to click next time.
Home is nearly always at the upper left on most sites, and people have gotten used to it being there.
The HOME link and usually a couple of others, like email, should always be obvious to users I think.
The average user might know, but breadcrumbs help too. It's best not to confuse users and help the less knowledgeable along.
|Linked logo to home has been standard since Yahoo first did it in 1995 |
Actually, I also did this back in 1995 - not because of Yahoo, but because it was logical along with a home page button graphic. As I recall, I used what was then around version 3 of PhotoPaint to make the old company logo on a 486/25 system that weighed appreciably more than a hay bale. ;-)
I have read through a lot of less than kind remarks about users in this thread, but keep in mind, not everyone is as technically comfortable as you may be and moreover they are the ones who butter your bread. It is always best to make and keep such people happy.
Always make the user experience as simple and intuitive as possible and you can never go too far wrong.
What's unfortunate is I visit many sites where the logo *isn't* a link to anything and a waste of space. That (lack of) technique may be un-educating visitors.
With pages getting longer as designers slowly stop trying to put everything and the kitchen sink above the fold, that home link becomes less important however.
I generally put the logo as a link to home page. But I hardly believe that visitors across have a knowledge about it. Probably, 20% of the people click it without actually knowing the function of it.
I do it coz I believe it to Best Practice Method.
There are still many sites that don't even link the top logo to anything, so I would hardly think that it could replace the basic "Home" link any time soon.
For my sites, I link to the home page with the logo, in the top toolbar, in the footer, and in the drop-down box on the right, along with the other basic site pages. Why make people search for it?
I've always said that there are many more dumb people in the World than smart people, so if you want to broaden your market to reach more potential customers/users, dumb down your web site. It's worked for me!
I think you should always link the logo to the homepage, its good practise. As long as you have a home link as well, it doesn't matter whether people know the logo is clickable or not. Those who want to click it, can.
[edited by: FiRe at 12:56 pm (utc) on Sep. 6, 2007]
I add the word HOME under the linked logo image and it's used on all inner pages.
for a more general overview of what users expect or don't expect on a website a useful book to read, if not to take any notice of, is
Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug
and no, I'm not Steve Krug....
I DO know that the logo is supposed to lead to the home page. But I hardly ever click it. That's why I'd never rely on any visitor to do it either.
One of the most consistent things I see in any kind of product design: when a new feature is added for convenience, it doesn't mean remove an old feature. The redundancy is part of what I think makes many "new features" useful.
In other words, and I realize this is a flawed example, but think about the Windows UI. They give you the option to use key commands to do many things, such as saving a file. Just because "everybody knows" that control+s will save your file doesn't preclude removing the option from the File menu, nor getting rid of the alt-access keys.
I work with people every day who have basic to advanced computer skills, yet many of them readily ask "how do I do that again?" when I instruct them to save a file. And a lot of the more computer-savvy people I know either do not know or do not choose to use the key commands to save a file. Likewise, some people simply find it more intuitive to click a "home" link than to click the site logo, especially when you consider that the "home" link will ALWAYS take you "home" whereas there is definitely a small chance that clicking on the logo will get you no-where.
While there are (informal) design standards and conventions on the web, they're like the Pirate's Code--more like guidelines, really. There are still many, many, many, many web sites out there that don't do things the way everyone else does--that includes linking the logo to the home page. This includes a lot of newer, CSS-based "web 2.0" sites where the designer may have put the logo as the background of a DIV layer--there's no physical image to click, unless you add JS to the div's onclick, and then you're relying on JS controls which may or may not be present.
So the bottom line is, I feel like linking your logo to your homepage is great, but I doubt it will ever truly be time to remove the "home" link from somewhere on the page.
Depending on the audience of the site, I may feel safe just putting the "home" link in the footer, but usually it goes somewhere at the top of the page or at the top of the navigation menu.
If the logo doesn't take you home, I find it annoying, but this thread has convinced me to make sure I always add a home link as well, I'd say in the past it's been about 50/50...and depended more on the designer, than me.
While Yahoo and many others have used the header/logo as a link to the home page since the dawn of (internet) time I firmly believe the avg. person is inconsistently aware of it. Because we work in this industry and read WebmasterWorld to keep up on trends both old and new we sometimes forget how the non-geeks live. I began in this industry in 2003 and up to that point was a moderate to advanced "user" of technology and the internet. But it wasn't until I was working on my first few sites that I learned from a designer friend that the header/logo was often a link. My friend went so far as to exclaim "everybody knows that" which was clearly not the case. (She totally missed the irony of that statement too!)
After four more years of learning I am amazed how easy it is to fall into that same trap of assuming everyone knows what I do. Like another poster here I use a family member as a reality check. I am constantly amazed at what the wife doesn't know in relation to website lingo/jargon, navigation, and usability. (Or inversely, how much I take for granted is common knowledge.) I asked her about the logo/header link and she gave me a blank stare before saying, "Why would I assume that?"
|I will post the results in a couple days. |
So far only 28% of users who click a home link on one of my sites used the linked header logo the rest used the text based link in Nav.
-- Outside what profession?
Linked logo to home has been standard since Yahoo first did it in 1995. --
True, but a lot of people have only just gone online recently, and the majority of the world still isn't online.
It can't do any harm to have a discreet text link somewhere saying "front page" or "home page" or something like that, especially if you have people coming in from Google results rather than your front page.
Nice to see the ploy adopted by youtube. You move your mouse over the logo (not in home page though) and you will see the word 'Home'. Though its not a shopping site but it still reveals the fact they assume many visitors will go back to the home page clicking on the logo. As a visitor I do that just like most others .. a handy shortcut and a nice example of learned behaviour.
|If it isn't a "home" link, then I quickly get annoyed that I have to actually look for one. |
Huh? Since when is the home page not
I don't put "home" on any of my sites. If visitors don't know that www.example.com is the home page, they'll probably think "home" is a link to a real estate website.
"Home" links are tacky. Use your site's full name or at least one keyword from the home page title in your header/footer links. The first link in a header or footer many surfers expect to take them to the home page; the absence of "home" doesn't confuse them.
Then I guess 99% of the websites out there is tacky, because I see it everywhere, including webmasterworld.
>> "Home" links are tacky <<
How do you pass all of the pagerank from internal pages back to the root of the domain then?
I think this is the reason why you just do it....
Jakob's Law of the Internet User Experience: users spend most of their time on other websites.
In visiting all these other sites, people become accustomed to the prevailing design standards and conventions. Thus, when users arrive at your site, they assume it will work the same way as other sites.
[edited by: lorax at 1:26 pm (utc) on Sep. 9, 2007]
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