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Do shoppers know the top logo is Home link?
Do we still need to provide a text "home" link?
john5000

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 2:58 am on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Do most shoppers, on say, a health product site, or a power tool site, know that the logo in the upper left corner is a link to the home page?

Is an explicit "Home" link still necessary?

Are there any studies on this?

 

Brett_Tabke

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 11:26 am on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yes, it is pretty widely accepted programming practice to link the logo to home. However, you are still going to have a few people that do not know it is there. A home link is also needed.

piatkow

WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 1:08 pm on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Not a safe assumption outside the profession.

Brett_Tabke

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 1:10 pm on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Outside what profession?
Linked logo to home has been standard since Yahoo first did it in 1995.

piatkow

WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 1:22 pm on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

when I buy home computers the salesman never takes me to one side and tells me what Yahoo did or didn't do in 1995. The average man or woman on the street doesn't know this, doesn't care and will not even think of passing the cursor over random images to see if they are linked. Come to that they will not even know that the "hand" appearing indicates a link.

Habtom

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 1:25 pm on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

when I buy home computers the salesman never takes me to one side and tells me what Yahoo did or didn't do in 1995.

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?

The answer is yes many visitors do expect that, and as Brett mentioned above,it is also vital to have an explicit link to the home page clearly stating that it is linked to the home page.

[edited by: Habtom at 1:29 pm (utc) on Sep. 5, 2007]

Rugles

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 1:32 pm on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

I am with Brett on this one. Link the logo but you still have to provide a "Home" link. Never assume your visitors are as savvy as you are. Code for the lowest common demoninator.

Way back we were Beta testing a new ecommerce website, we would bring in a friend or family member to surf the site. We would sit them down at a computer and tell them to "shop" while we looked over their shoulder. Not giving them any clues. It is amazing how much information you can pick up in that experiment. Things that we thought were intuitive, was actually difficult to figure out for our test surfers. I think that is when we discovered we needed a link called "home" right below the logo.

Receptional Andy



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 1:32 pm on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

The average man or woman on the street doesn't know this, doesn't care and will not even think of passing the cursor over random images to see if they are linked.

These aren't random images or clicks though - it's learned behaviour. If a logo in the top left hand corner links to the logo on all of the 'big' websites that users visit when they are starting to use the internet (think Google, Yahoo, Hotmail, Amazon etc.), then visitors learn that this is the behaviour to expect, and this is reinforced when they find that the new sites they use do this also. I would expect more usability problems with a logo in the top left that didn't link to the homepage.

lorax

WebmasterWorld Administrator lorax us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 1:35 pm on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think that people learn about navigation by trial and error or by someone showing them (and occasionally they may read about it). 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. Design accordingly.

justgowithit

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 1:55 pm on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've seen enough competent Internet users fail basic usability test so miserably that I prefer not to take the chance.

it would be safe to make the assumption that most of them would know

What's that saying about assumptions? Something about making an a#% out of u and.... ;)

lorax

WebmasterWorld Administrator lorax us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 2:06 pm on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

LOL - fair 'nuff. :)

buckworks

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 3:12 pm on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

learn about navigation by trial and error

The less trial and error you foist on your users, the better. Do your best to go with the flow of the conventions they've learned elsewhere.

The easier and smoother you make it for users to do what you want them to do, the better the chance that they'll do it. That usually means working WITH user expectations, not against them.

lorax

WebmasterWorld Administrator lorax us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 3:19 pm on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

I totally agree with you Buckworks. People are lazy - they don't like to think. They'll take the most obvious and easiest way every time.

buckworks

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 3:27 pm on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

People are lazy - they don't like to think

Lorax, that statement reflects a lack of respect for users' time (and comfort).

If you're going to make them think, save it for the aspects of your site that are truly unique and genuinely require focused thought. Make most things as routine as possble.

Never, ever forget how easy it is for users to click away to someone else's site.

g1smd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 3:31 pm on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

If it isn't a "home" link, then I quickly get annoyed that I have to actually look for one.

Some sites have NO way to get back to home!

Some sites link to "/" from some pages and to "/index.html¦php" from others. That is always a problem.

narsticle

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 3:37 pm on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yes, Yes, Yes

Try giving Steve Krug's book "Don't Make Me Think" a read. He answers a lot of these type of question and talks about web usability.

justgowithit

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 3:37 pm on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

That usually means working WITH user expectations, not against them.

I strongly feel that redundancy has its place, even within the scope of standards and expectations, to insure that the desired effect is achieved.

Specifically when talking about crucial basic navigation such as a link back to the index of a site - this is not something that should be left to chance given the visitor frustration that may possibly result and the simplicity of the corrective measure – a simple text link.

Standards are wonderful, but sometimes they make me think of a horse wearing blinders.

[edited by: justgowithit at 3:42 pm (utc) on Sep. 5, 2007]

justgowithit

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 3:39 pm on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

giving Steve Krug's book "Don't Make Me Think" a read

I have, it's a decent read for web-101 but this issue goes more to the heart of standards in design - not concepts.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 3:42 pm on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Linked logo to home has been standard since Yahoo first did it in 1995.

Yes, but not all users have been around since 1995. :-)

Why make assumptions? "Home" doesn't take up that much room, does it?

Demaestro

WebmasterWorld Senior Member demaestro us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 4:47 pm on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

I ask myself the same question every time I put up a new site and I end up going with both every time.

The only time it has varied was when a client wanted the logo as a rotating flash thingy that offered different things to click.

Unless the logo is begging to be clicked with some animation or otherwise many users will simply not know to click it.

It would be an interesting thing to track on a site.... have both a logo and a home link and see which people click more. In fact I am going to set up a test for my own curiosity.

I will post the results in a couple days.

The_Hat

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 5:11 pm on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

It's all about putting stuff where they might be looking.... the people that don't know that there is a link in that logo probably won't be up there looking for it.. so place it in the menu so they can find... on the other hand there will be people looking for it up there so make sure to not disappoint them.. Where ever it is looked for (whatever it is) it should be found..

john5000

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 5:18 pm on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks. Lots of great replies, basically confirming my suspicion that the "Home" textlink is still necessary in addition to the logo link.

I'm really big on simple clean designs and just wonder what percentage of users am I catering to by adding that "Home" link. Maybe if the logo were just a text-graphic with an underline it would be more obvious as a link.

lorax

WebmasterWorld Administrator lorax us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 5:21 pm on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

>> "People are lazy - they don't like to think" - that statement reflects a lack of respect for users' time (and comfort).

Perhaps I should have narrowed my disdain. I do have a lack of respect for the abilities of some users. I've worked with too many clueless users as a help-desk tech and wasted many hours trying to help people too lazy to learn even when they were spoon fed the information. This doesn't mean that I don't respect those that do try. And certainly, in both cases I try hard to make their experience as quick and pleasant as possible. But I do base my navigation on the lazy user.

willybfriendly

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 5:44 pm on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Well, I'll be something of the odd man out.

None of our sites have the logo linked back to the home page. In fact, the logo is always a CSS background image, as is the rest of the header.

There is an interesting concurrent thread about source ordered content taking place right now. Why have images and logos unrelated to the content of the page taking up space in the markup?

A "Home" link is clear to even the most obtuse visitor. A linked logo may or may not be.

Oh, breadcrumbs can be good too, depending on the design...

buckworks

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 5:44 pm on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Lorax ... Fact of life: 50% of the population is below average! ;)

[edited by: buckworks at 5:47 pm (utc) on Sep. 5, 2007]

orionsweb

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 5:47 pm on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

I know for myself I've started using some logic in it all..

First.. always link the logo to the site URL, include title="Return to site home page" attribute in the link.
Second.. IF there is no relevant content on the front page (splash page or summary page) then I might skip a 'Home' link in the main nav and only have a home icon link in top right or 'home' text link in footer with the privacy policy etc.
Third.. IF the content on the front of the site is relevant then always link in the main nav.

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 6:18 pm on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

I actually use my 76 year old mother as a yardstick on these things. She spends a lot of time online (and has for ten years) and she's much more web savvy than maybe one would suspect, plus she buys a LOT online. But she doesn't know anything about the behind-the-scenes stuff, or the things the rest of us take for granted. So I bounce usability issues off her all the time. I asked her if she would assume that linking on a logo would the fastest way back 'home' and she said no; if she didn't see a HOME link, she'd probably start hitting the back button a mile a minute (and swearing at the design of the site the whole while)

WWMC - "what would mom click?"

The_Hat

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 6:55 pm on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Where ever I am looked for there shall I be"

2nd Webalonians, verse 7

travelin cat

WebmasterWorld Administrator travelin_cat us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 8:05 pm on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Since it costs nothing to link the logo to the home page why not?

That being said, do not assume that people know this, always provide a home link somewhere obvious in addition to the logo link.

WiseWebDude

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3441552 posted 8:29 pm on Sep 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

That being said, do not assume that people know this, always provide a home link somewhere obvious in addition to the logo link.

I agree 100%, some people could literally get trapped in their own fart bubble let alone being able to get around easily on any website...it is truly amazing to watch people at times. I have seen stuff right smack in people's faces and they ask me how to do or go to such and such...aargh. Make it for dummies, there are PLENTY out there (sounds mean, but true). The last thing you want, in an e-commerce site, is for people to get "stuck" or frustrated...give them all the options you can and do NOT (for the love of all that is holy) make them think for one second...

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