So my client says "Where's the Home link/button?" My answer: "Its passe. Everyone knows to click the logo or site name to get back to the home page." She says, "Not dumb people."
So, what's the best practice? Is it even necessary anymore or is just an absolute staple of ANY web design?
Thanks for your feedback.
This is my opinion based on experience as a usability consultant and experience with user testing and how people have handled different variations of home links, only logo, both logo and nav button, only nav, icon etc.
Having the logo as a link to the home page is a standard.
The most usable option, i.e. ensuring that new folks and others are able to find their way to the home page most of the time is to have both the logo as a link to the home page and a nav button clearly labelled 'home'.
If the issue of not including a home page is one of design aesthetics or saving space I've seen good results with using a smaller button with an icon of a house indicating home.
Not having a home link can be less usable depending on the demographic / type of people that visit your site.
One of the goals of interaction design is to not make the user think. Att all. So if you can eliminate any unnecessary thoughts, decisions ore confusions by adding a Home item or icon in the navigation, thats' the way to go.
But there are always exceptions. But on an "ordinary" web site, it should be there.
if your design and site structure has is appropriate for use of a breadcrumb trail, that's also another intuitive spot and you don't have to sacrifice nav menu space. Either "Home" or a house icon would be appropriate. I think novices and experienced users alike respond well to breadcrumb trails.