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When not to phone "Home"


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#41 James

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Posted 11 November 2003 - 05:24 PM

At least JN gives us something to debate about! ;-)

#42 cre8pc

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Posted 11 November 2003 - 05:28 PM

I just checked and homebase is Washington, DC. :P

They're not the ones with the duck. They're the ones with the green lizard with the Aussie accent I think it has, doesn't it?


Kim

#43 peter_d

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Posted 11 November 2003 - 05:33 PM

At least JN gives us something to debate about!


He's no fool. I've always found him to be a better self promoter than he is a usability guru.

Polemic viewpoints have a habit of fostering debate, eh :P

#44 cre8pc

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Posted 11 November 2003 - 05:34 PM

At least JN gives us something to debate about!


That's for sure! There's many things I've learned from him over the years, but not as much as Jared Spool, or Human Factors Inc., or other great usability groups.

I have a bunch of "I'll never call this a defect" things on my list. One big one is the use of colored links like blue and purple. I've been changing link colors since 1996. Call me a rebel :shock:

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#45 James

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Posted 11 November 2003 - 05:39 PM

I have a bunch of "I'll never call this a defect" things on my list. One big one is the use of colored links like blue and purple. I've been changing link colors since 1996. Call me a rebel


Rebel! ;-)

Thank Heavens for CSS!! You must love being able to change all those link colours with one line of CSS!

#46 sanity

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Posted 11 November 2003 - 05:40 PM

On the ugly topic - one thing to keep in mind is that ugly is subjective - one person's ugly is another person's beauty. Ugly is ok IMHO - cluttered, poorly laid out, difficult to navigate and slow to load websites are the real problem.

He's no fool. I've always found him to be a better self promoter than he is a usability guru.

Agreed. I'm not a huge fan of his site design.

#47 Adrian

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Posted 12 November 2003 - 08:29 AM

One big one is the use of colored links like blue and purple. I've been changing link colors since 1996. Call me a rebel


That also shows how much of an effect JN has, I've been involved in debates with you on that for the last 3 (nearly 4?) years Kim :)

I'm with Ron on the 'slow to catch onto linked logos' thing, heh, I think it was only in a debate here or the old Yahoo! Group that I realised it was more than the odd few sites doing it :?

And Sophie, I'm not sure anyones a huge fan of his site design, hence the recent competition for people to redesign it :) (also perhaps a cunning plan to get someone to do his work for him, and if people don't like it, he can say that he didn't design it? As well as the publicity he's had from it of course....) Which I understand is now closed for judging, I did have a quick skim through some of the entrants, about 50 I think!

#48 gravelsack

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Posted 12 November 2003 - 08:39 AM

I'm late in on this one.

Re: home page linking to itself

I asked some customers, my friends and myself.

No-one gave a hoot whether there was a 'home' link on the home page.
At worst it was classed it as a minor irritation, and not considered relevant to whether they would order or not.

If I thought it mattered enough I would do some split run testing, but I don't think it is worth the time spent.

Personally I agree with the 'consistency' argument.

If anyone has done some detailed split run testing I am happy to change my mind though - anyone?

#49 cnovela

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Posted 12 November 2003 - 10:53 AM

I put Return to Main Menu at the bottom of my pages,
but NOT on the Main Menu page,
as this would confuse users.

Some people put a little house icon on the top bar
to serve as a link to HOME PAGE,
but this can confuse users.

Perhaps you can "grey out" the little house icon
when you are on the home page to
keep users from clicking the HOME PAGE icon.

I think that most users want a familiar "grey"
look and feel, but I use light aqua backgrounds
to add a little color, and also add small pics
that are relevant to the body copy.

My users tell me that they hate bright "flashy"
backgrounds, the colors "Yellow, Orange, Red"
and pretty little icons without any text underneath.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN??? :shock:

They ask me.

#50 bragadocchio

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Posted 12 November 2003 - 11:59 PM

My users tell me...


In a nutshell, that's the right answer.

#51 DianeV

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 12:05 AM

Right. And what his users seem to have told him is that things need to be clear, as in "obvious".

I particularly liked Ron's statement that if a user is on the home page and clicks "Home", he's already confused about the site ... so what's the problem with just letting the link clearly take him there? Even if he does that a time or two, eventually he'll figure it out.

#52 bwelford

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 08:03 AM

gravelsack, I think you got it 100% right.

I asked some customers, my friends and myself.  

No-one gave a hoot whether there was a 'home' link on the home page.  
At worst it was classed it as a minor irritation, and not considered relevant to whether they would order or not.  

If I thought it mattered enough I would do some split run testing, but I don't think it is worth the time spent.

JN was only commenting on the Home button on the Home page. This thread took off on the whole subject of links of all types. I'm sure most of us would agree with most of what was said.

But on the exact point JN was making, I think he was straining at gnats.

#53 James

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 08:09 AM

straining at gnats


I began thinking that I'd like to know what that means!! But then did a search in Google and noticed it had something to do with swallowing camels. Now, I'd rather not know.

#54 cre8pc

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 09:09 AM

I particularly liked Ron's statement that if a user is on the home page and clicks "Home", he's already confused about the site ... so what's the problem with just letting the link clearly take him there? Even if he does that a time or two, eventually he'll figure it out.


They'll figure it out, or click off the site in frustration or confusion.

Is it smarter to improve the design to make it user friendly, or choose the lazier route of leaving it as is, and letting the visitor struggle with it?

Poor web site usability, for ecommerce sites especially, is akin to pushing shopping carts up and down store aisles, but making it too difficult for customers to grab anything off the shelves.

Kim

#55 gravelsack

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 10:00 AM

Is it smarter to improve the design to make it user friendly, or choose the lazier route of leaving it as is, and letting the visitor struggle with it?

I agree, but having a consistent navigation system can be seen as user friendly - I don't think users see this as a struggle or a difficulty

I used to train novices on how to use the internet - they had many complaints about web site usability, but not one person ever commented on the 'home' button being on the 'home' page.

The only way to resolve this issue definitively is to do split run testing, but until then I remain unconvinced.

#56 cre8pc

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 10:38 AM

For sure, "Home linking home" isn't likely to send anyone (including me!) screaming off a site.

It may be notable that in the work I do, the number one problem I have to offer suggestions for fixes on is website navigation. It's VERY hard to do, especially for new webmasters.

Kim

#57 sanity

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 04:32 PM

I used to train novices on how to use the internet - they had many complaints about web site usability, but not one person ever commented on the 'home' button being on the 'home' page.

Out of interest what were some of the main complaints?

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 06:29 PM

Oooh- that was enough to stop me from reading posts via e-mail and trek my butt back to the forum.

I think that deserves it's own thread!

http://www.cre8asite...p?p=39672#39672

#59 Scratch

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 10:59 AM

Sorry for coming in so late, just linked back from paranoidandroid's post.

Re, home links on home pages.

The consistency argument works both ways, guys. You could apply it to "Home should consistently link to home (even from home)", but you could equally say "Links should actually LINK! As in, take you somwehere ELSE."

Personally, I think a Home > Home link is unnecessary, but not evil.

One way I sometimes use a logo/home link is to wave my mouse at it to check whether I am actually on the home page.

More importantly, someone made a comment about links doing two jobs: linking and telling you where you are. That's called navigation, and that's what links are for. Navigation involves two things: a) knowing where you are, and B) knowing where to go next (just like on a ship, you need both).

There are lots of valid conventions for links doing both jobs:[list]Tabs

[*]Breadcrumbs

[*]Basic horizontal or vertical text links
[list]It's a very good idea to get your links to do 2 jobs, because it's efficient, and it's clear.

Webdesignfromscratch.com doesn't link from the same page to the same page (apart from the 3 root pages of Basics, Tutorials and Case Studies, cos I forgot to build it in). The right-hand nav always distinguishes the current page from "pages you can link to", and the home page deactivates the site logo and "Home" tab links.

Surely this is basic common sense? It seems to me like this "consistency" arguments is as though Word would let you revert to the saved version of a document you're editing, because you tried to open it again. I just don't get it.

I can't imagine any human being who would be happy about hailing a cab, saying "Take me to Nielsen Street", for the cab to drive them round the block, drop them off at exactly the same point, and charge them a fiver! No! You'd expect the cab driver to say, "You're already on Nielsen Street, sir." No? Then, why do we expect web sites to behave that way? Some pages take a long time to load. On my current client's site, all the PCs' browsers have caching disabled, the network is slow, and so a page load always takes time. This isn't just an issue confined to the dialup minority. Page loads do matter. Knowing where you are matters. Clarity matters.

Here's the answer, in my opinion. Make all navigation clearly distinguish between on and off states, so that off states indicate "You are here".

One other factor that hasn't been mentioned is the practice (Krug mentions it in DMMT), of using a slightly different design for your home page, one that doesn't have a "Home" link. Steve used the example of MSNBC, but I notice they've now reverted to loopy home links.. You don't really want to download new graphics either. No, I think maybe that's not quite the answer. The one above is good though, I'll stand alongside Jake on that...

Peace,

Scratch

#60 cre8pc

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 01:05 PM

Excellent post Ben. Was surprised to see this one pop back up after nearly a year! :D

My feelings haven't changed. I favor and implement things as you described them. I hate to admit it, but when I see a web site with 3 or more links "Home" on their homepage, it reflects poorly on the company itself.

Experimenting lately, the homepage of my UE site is drastically different from the inside pages. Too drastic in fact. I had this inspiration one day and went with it. But, the rest of the pages, while uniform, now look like distant cousins of the homepage.

#61 Adrian

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 08:05 AM

Wow, just read a blog posting and thought of this thread, can't believe it was 2 years ago!

Anyway, this is fairly relevant to it.

Logos that take you home

I think we discussed logo's that link home as a seperate thing somewhere else, though can't remember what that thread was. if you're going to link home from the logo, and presumably have it on the actual home page as well(?) then that's about a good a way as I've seen it done!



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