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The extinction of the Home-button

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013 by Servage

For many years, our eyes used to see something constantly on the websites, which have horizontal main menu at the top of the page, the “Home” button as the first and foremost button of the menu. When we were living in the primitive web era we have devised this button to come back at the home page as a final passage if we struck somewhere in the site.

With the pace of time, the word “Home” has replaced with thumbnail/icon of the home. Finally, benevolent web developers have totally dropped the idea of home button due to many reasons and better UX is one of them. If we think at the angle of the website owner or an SEO master we never, like to send back our users to the home page because when users get frustrated with something or don’t have further ideas to go ahead they prefer to reach at home page. When they reach at the home page there, are fewer chances to start her journey aging and will abandon the site immediately. Therefore, instead of sending users to home page we prefer to send them deeper pages of the website so they can explore more and likely get something useful for them thus they reach at the goal of the website-conversion anyhow.

At UX point “Home” button is wasting some real estate of the web page and distracts users to create good confidence in the navigation system. Moreover, now home page is no more super landing page for us, as our visitors are likely get entry through many ways and many routes and start their journey from any point. For instant, we use articles, blogs, press releases as off-page SEO efforts and catch relevant audience directly on the relevant. Same, the way we use Social networking sites vigorously to attend big chunk of audience and they are landing directly on the targeted pages instead of home page. Thus, dropping home button idea is good at UX point of view.

Many websites still are using home button, or sometime home icon, or use logo to allow the access to the home page. These sites are mainly news sites where home page is the page that gives constant updates of the news or for the e-commerce sites where latest product updates are visible. Thus accessing home page for such sites are vital.

Apart from these giants other giants like Apple, Google, Facebook, Pinterest, eBay, LinkedIn, Twitter, Wikipedia, etc. don’t have any home button at all particularly when you loged-in. Here home page is not central hub of the activities so going back is meaningless at all. If we think of e-commerce sites where returning back to the pages we have surfed like product pages is important we can give breadcrumb facilities to solve that problem with the best user experiences. Removing “Home” button is reducing the clutter, but totally removing the return to the home page is against the user experiences. In due course, the websites mentioned above have made good provisions to get access to the home page through click on the logo.

Eliminating “Home” button is posing great challenges to the UX designers that the visitor must not wish to return to the home page due to frustrations or any sorts of bad user experiences and she need not to find the home button anymore. The successful UX design always accomplishes the user journey smoothly and with definite success to win the visitors to become shopper and then customer to loyal customer at the end. There are many UX tools to catch the point of conversion thus, need of Home button has no place with tech-savvy audience.

References & more reading

http://uxmag.com/articles/are-you-putting-the-home-button-to-good-use 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/6125914/How-20-popular-websites-looked-when-they-launched.html

http://www.promediacorp.com/2011/06/most-websites-exclude-home-from-navigation-study/

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