Should I have a Home button?

February 23, 2011

Cottage, by boocal on flickrRight now I am occupied with beta testing my web clinic service, and one of the questions that is coming up is whether (in these modern, artistic, web-savvy times) the little button that says ‘Home’ is really needed.

Yes. Yes it is.

1. People know less than you think

While it’s true that people are more web-savvy these days, this is not universal. I have sat through many, many website testing sessions where people laboriously find their favourite websites through the search engine every single time.

More people than you would believe just don’t know that the company logo or the blog banner will take them to the site homepage.

2. A Home button is like a bright beacon on a stormy sea

If you have an intricate website, your users can get lost in its depths.  There comes a point where they lose their way and they want to reset things to look again.  A homepage button is an easy little reset. Home! Yay!

You don’t understand! None of the cool kids have homepage buttons! I’m an artist, it’s going to ruin everything if I have a lame 1990s link to my homepage! AAAARGH!

3. But if it matters that much…

It’s always up to you in the end.  Simple blog with few pages, strong artistic sensibility, high tech audience: maybe.

Anyone else:  just put it in and get on with something more important.  There.