Home button or Logo link

I am working on a new website interface. As soon as I initiated the pencil sketch, I got into this debate within myself, whether to add a home button or not? Oh no not again!

The users are very smart, they sure know that once you click on the company logo, it would take them to homepage.  For a very long time, we have been adding the same word “HOME”, it sounds silly sometimes. A  few webmasters come up with House icon, looking like a cartoon movie!. 

C’mon folks! We are in the Web 2.0 era, should we have to guide every user through the index page? Visual Literacy plays a vital role here. Users certainly understand that links that take to another page are underlined in blue, an envelope icon is for an email, if we are in the e-commerce site then we have to click on the shopping cart to check out, the navigation links are either in the left or in the top, etc. We all know that, Amazon.com is often used as an example that demonstrates a great user experience, they don’t have HOME button, and yet they pull a huge traffic, don’t they?

Now with all that said, it also comes to my knowledge that it counts on the audience. Not all clients are web developers, they can’t ponder as a web developer. Correspondingly, not all users are web savvy. We have to focus not only the most experienced users but also the novice. It looks like the dispute will be on for another decade or two as the theory of including or excluding the home button seems to be raising numerous Why’s and But’s. Web developers possess to satiate diverse audiences and hence whether they like it or not, plan for both HOME buttons as well as give the link in the company logo.

Avatars – When to add?

I am fortunate to get an internship in this economy. And when it would add up credits towards my Masters, it’s a bonus! I am geared with Photoshop CS4 and Captivate CS4 to work on the multimedia tutorials that I have to develop by the end of this semester.

Two weeks back I started to work on the first multimedia tutorial with task analysis and right now I am onto the story board. This is the most fun part but at the same time challenging. The task is to create an E-learning tutorial on a ‘How to’ subject (can’t disclose).

I began a lot of research, thanks to Google. At last I came up to a conclusion to use ‘Avatars’ to enhance the learning and get connected with the target audience. However, I wasn’t sure, how many avatars would be too many. That’s when I posted my query in Linked In and wow! What a response. The networking sites are the best place to get quick expert advice. Click on these links to learn the aesthetics of designing with or without avatars/characters/clipart art etc.

http://tiny.cc/0IXG8
http://tiny.cc/Pr97J

I sincerely thank all the experts who took their valued time to explain me.  After reading all of their experiences, It has come to my knowledge that adding Avatar calls for  a purpose in the tutorial. Avatar without a voice-over or an animation not only annoys the learner but also doesn’t count towards the aesthetic of E-learning design.