“Website Logo Placement for Maximum Brand Recall”
Nielsen Norman Group, February 21, 2016
Branding, Visual Design, Web Usability
By Kathryn Whitenton
Showing a logo in the top left corner of a web page is probably the most common design pattern of all time. The logo serves as a landmark that orients users when they first land on a page and helps them identify the website they are visiting. A lot of research indicates that speakers of left-to-right languages look at the left side of the page first and often the first page element they attend to is the logo. (They also spend more time looking at the left side of the page overall.)
Right-Aligned Logos Thwart Web Conventions
A left-aligned logo is comfortable for users, but because it’s such a longstanding tradition, this standard is a tempting target to anyone wanting to appear unconventional. Violating this convention seems like an easy way of immediately distinguishing a design from its competitors, and standing out from the crowd. For example, the website homepage shown below for the New York Edition hotel mirrors the traditional layout and displays both the hotel name and the navigation menu on the right edge of the page.
Does Placement Really Matter?
Clearly it’s possible to disregard the standard for top-left logo placement and still end up with a reasonable website. If you were to show users the website above and ask them what the name of the hotel is, they’d be able to figure it out. It’s easy to see how a designer might decide that conforming to traditional web guidelines is less important than creating a unique brand experience by using an unusual layout.
But before committing to this course of action, you should make sure you know exactly what you’re giving up.
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