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.
Not a safe assumption outside the profession.
Outside what profession?
Linked logo to home has been standard since Yahoo first did it in 1995.
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.
|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]
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.
|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.
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.
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.... ;)
LOL - fair 'nuff. :)
|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.
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.
|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.
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.
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.
|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]
|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.
|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?
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.
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..
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.
>> "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.
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...
Lorax ... Fact of life: 50% of the population is below average! ;)
[edited by: buckworks at 5:47 pm (utc) on Sep. 5, 2007]
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.
Third.. IF the content on the front of the site is relevant then always link in the main nav.
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?"
"Where ever I am looked for there shall I be"
2nd Webalonians, verse 7
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.
|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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