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5:1 Enable Access to the Homepage

Relative Importance:

Relative Importance rating of 5 out of 5

Strength of Evidence:

Strength of Evidence rating of 3 out of 5

Document Type: Guideline


Topic:

Page Structure - Homepage


Guideline:

Enable users to access the homepage from any other page on the Web site.


Comments:

Many users return to the homepage to begin a new task or to start a task over again. Create an easy and obvious way for users to quickly return to the homepage of the Web site from any point in the site.

Many sites place the organization's logo on the top of every page and link it to the homepage. While many users expect that a logo will be clickable, many other users will not realize that it is a link to the homepage. Therefore, include a link labeled 'Home' near the top of the page to help those users.


Sources:

  • Bailey, R.W. (2000b, October). Link affordance. Retrieved November 2005, from http://www.webusability.com.
  • Detweiler, M.C. & Omanson, R.C. (1996). Ameritech Web Page User Interface Standards and Design Guidelines. Ameritech (now SBC).
  • IBM (1999). Web Design Guidelines Design in Action. Retrieved May 2003, from www-3.ibm.com/ibm/easy/eou_ext.nsf/Publish/572.
  • Levine, R. (1996). Guide to Web Style. Sun Microsystems.
  • Lynch, P.J. & Horton, S. (2002). Web Style Guide (2nd Edition). New Haven, CO: Yale University Press. Retrieved November 2005, from http://www.webstyleguide.com/index.html?/contents.html.
  • Nielsen, J. & Tahir, M. (2002). Homepage Usability: 50 Sites Deconstructed. Indianapolis, IN: New Riders Publishing.
  • Spool, J.M., Scanlon, T., Schroeder, W., Snyder, C., & DeAngelo, T. (1997). Web Site Usability: A Designer’s Guide. North Andover, MA: User Interface Engineering.
  • Tullis, T.S. (2001). Web usability lessons learned. Fidelity Center for Applied Technology Technical Report. Fidelity Investments.

Good Example:

This Web page provides links to both the main organization homepage (clickable 'National Cancer Institute' logo in the upper left corner) as well as the sub-organization homepage ('Cancer Control Home' link placed in the upper right corner). These logos and their placement remain constant throughout the Web site.05_01_good_example