I usually take these studies with a grain of salt. It's good to know the basic conventions and user expectations, but if we designed EVERYTHING into the conventions.... well, everything would be a bit bland.
I would take this to mean: put the logo in the top left UNLESS you have a good reason not to. Then by all means.
This goes for, you know, anything and everything in life. Follow the rules, unless you've got a good reason not to.
Today in bullshit studies ...
Seems a bit heavy-handed to dismiss the study outright don't you think? The study presents a compelling argument, and without presenting opposing evidence to the contrary, this type of comment seems contradictory for the sake of being contradictory. No value added.
You're probably right, and I should have tempered my reaction.
What is bothersome about this study (and many like it) is, the study dismisses the universe of extenuating factors that can go into a design. It ignores how the execution of a design, logo, UI etc. can affect the readability and navigability of the page. It also glosses over the implications this has for mobile, which is a huge miss.
But most importantly you can't draw the conclusion "Centered Logos Hurt Website Navigation" from this study. You can maybe say "In Some Instances, on Some Platforms, Centered Logos May Hurt Website Navigation", but that's not as good a headline.
So I shouldn't write an article titled "I love Queens of the Stone Age" because I should have titled it "When the volume is right, and their instruments are tuned properly, and the crowd isn't booing, I am okay with Queens of the Stone Age".
I mean, they're not WRONG with that title. Navigating to the home page will be harder for a good percentage of people. Thus, it hurts navigation.
Sure, here's a counter argument.
This doesn't actually study "website navigation." It studies how difficult it is to return "Home" and brand recognition.
There are probably a lot of websites for which one or both of these simply don't matter. More importantly, what if a user's necessity to go "Home" is actually indicative of a navigational design failure? As mentioned in the article, it's the universal "reset." Why do your users need to reset their task?
Sounds like you might have some navigational problems.
Ironic that you posted an article by Don Norman from FastCo a while back, yet this scientific study by his UX research company is apparently useless drivel?
You should maybe read the comment I wrote about it.
What is bullshit here? This looks pretty solid. I'd definitely have very similar views without even researching that.
It's just a summary of someone's research project people, calm down...
What if you don't want people to go back to the homepage???
Hopefully, you're all aware of NNGroup's accreditations.
Hopefully also, you're all aware of what this article says. What they researched.
Finally, hopefully, you're able to apply this where necessary.
Read that last line again. Where necessary. Next time you're looking at whether a logo looks pretty top left, or top middle, remind yourself that design is about more than looking pretty.
This is exactly what UX is. It's a battle over the senses. It's fighting human behaviour. And that includes knowing where people will look for a link to the home page.
The number of people outright dismissing this article or trying to discredit its merits frightens me. Do you do this with every piece of information you find on the web? Or only when something limits your "freedom as a designer"?
There are rules. YES, you need to know when to break them. SURE, question everything.
I just hope your reactions don't mean you're going to outright ignore it. Take it on board. Use it where needed.
I think one thing that is important to note here is that often times solid UX is very boring. It works because that is how people have come to interact with websites, but that is what makes it boring.
Moving in the other direction will make the project much more interesting, but it may confuse some. It's up to you to figure out what direction to take.
Please note that this study only looked at navigation. Not if centered logos affect the whole user experience in a bad way. It doesn't claim anything else.
Perhaps a centered logo makes the site more pleasurable to use because of the aesthetic value. Why not user test it on your own sites and make a decision if it's better for you. Now we have learned that this could be problematic.
Ironic - In terms of how they present their "research" - wonder if they have uncovered any "evidence" regarding that barfed out wall of cramped up, poorly formatted text that is an eyesore and exhausting to read.
Totally agree, some many experts in the fields of UX and HCI with very bad experiences. At least includes "read mode".
You're kidding right? While it could do with a little more spacing here and there, they do have a decent character count per line. Their site is brilliantly easy to navigate, their links are easy to spot, they use proper emphasising, they've got good headings, lists where required.
UX-wise this site is damn solid.
Boring? Sure. That's not what this site is about. It's about working.
Not everything ugly is bad.
This made me realise how much we take for granted that nav menus need to be at the top of the screen with horizontally arranged links and a logo.
Solution: make the first link in the navigation the home page.