You may have noticed that the “Home” buttons have recently gone missing from some websites. This is becoming more and more popular for web and UX designers alike. Let’s discuss both sides of having “Home” in your header nav.

Reasons to Keep It: User Expectations

The main reason to have a “home” button? People expect it to be there. It’s a safe way home when you’re lost in the woods. When designing for user-friendliness, the “home” button makes it easy for all users to get back to where they can find more information on your site. It doesn’t add too much clutter and doesn’t take up too much space but can be valuable for guiding those lost users home.

Reasons to Remove It: Mobile-Friendly Design

Some experts say you don’t need a home button. Heatmaps, surveys, tests and anecdotal experience tells us that no one actually uses it! The trends towards more mobile sites mean sleeker, simpler designs with less text and clutter. With devices getting smaller and smaller (now bigger, again – what’s up with that iPhone X?) every pixel matters and a home button just takes up valuable space.

“Home” Alternatives

Whether or not you decide to add a home button here are some design options for the team at Almost Agency.

Clickable Logos

It’s not narcissistic – you just have a solid brand and logo. Replacing the home button with a clickable logo is recognizable and has become a well-known navigation item. There is statistical data for adding a clickable logo. When sites have both, more people click on the logo than “home.”  Unless your logo is some version of a house – then that could just be confusing altogether

Drawbacks:

There are no drawbacks to having clickable logos on your website, unless your website primarily targets those who are a bit out of the loop when it comes to the modern browsing experience.

There are no drawbacks for having a clickable logo. Unless your logo is ugly or unrecognizable. If that’s the case give us a call for logo design.

Breadcrumb Trails

Another alternative to a home button is a breadcrumb trail. They provide a visual roadmap of where you are within a website, with the first item on the list usually being “home.” They work well because you can retrace your steps without having to go all the way home. These user trails are often paired with a clickable logo.

Drawbacks:

They can take up a lot of space- especially on mobile. It might complicate the browsing experience but this all depends on your site’s structure and the size of the breadcrumb trail.

Relocation to the Footer

A third alternative is adding the navigation elements to the footer of the page. Most users know that the footer has important information so they won’t have a hard time navigating through a footer menu.

Drawbacks:

The footer is all the way at the bottom. So depending on the size of your pages, the user might not actually make it to the bottom of the page – especially on vertically designed mobile pages.

So do you need to add “home” to your website navigation? Design trends say no. But the most important part of designing your nav is keeping your end user in mind. Clickable logos, breadcrumbs and footer navs are excellent options for designing the perfect nav for your content and business. Reach out to The Almost Agency to find the perfect fit for your site.

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