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We have created a fruits and vegetables game for children where they have to choose the correct vegetable in a grid of vegetables.

This is a web based game. In this game, we have a logo at the top of the page in the header and a home icon so that kids can get back to the main menu.

My opinion is that there should be some sort of breadcrumb navigation so the child knows instantly how to get back to the main menu, or even how to go to different games within this category/type.

Am I right in thinking this way, or am I over-thinking this? If so, what would be the best way to implement this?

Here is the game for reference: http://freeteacher.co.uk/game.aspx?qf=game_vegetables

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possible duplicate of Home button vs Logo link? –  ChrisF May 17 '12 at 16:54
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@ChrisF I think the focus on a site/game for children requires some different considerations than the general groups of users referenced in that question. Might end up with the same answers though. –  Andrew Shipe May 17 '12 at 17:08
    
I suggest rewriting the question to cover kids' perspectives, such as "What sort of navigation is intuitive to kids" and "we can't expect kids to have the same understanding of web standards as adults, so what is required for the most intuitive experience…" etc. etc. –  tajmo May 17 '12 at 17:14
    
Totally off topic - but I think asking kids to spot the potato and then to 'choose Turmeric' - is rather muddling the levels of hardness. And for a UK site it's Maths not Math. –  PhillipW May 18 '12 at 11:32
    
What do you mean? Where did you spot that? –  Khuram Malik May 18 '12 at 13:45
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4 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Your logo looks big enough that most users (kids or otherwise) ought to mouse over it if they're confused about how to get to the homepage. I would suggest a mouseover on the logo that displays a home icon or similar text to reinforce that concept.

Kids are quite adept at picking up patterns though so it would be wise to spend an hour or two researching some similar sites whose navigation patterns might be applied to your site by an enterprising child.

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Thanks. The mouse over on the logo is something we've been seriously considering. I think it's best I get that implemented and see how it fairs. –  Khuram Malik May 17 '12 at 19:21
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The correct answer is "whatever works best for your target audience".

You should perform some discovery testing using the varying approaches you're considering with representative users and a simple task of navigating back to the homepage from within the game. The answer may surprise you, but will be based on some real data versus conjecture as to the "best" approach.

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What do you mean from main menu? Main menu should be consistent throughout the application, but if you are inside any category, you should tell them how to go back (breadcrumb, go to main category etc). And use explicit text than images as children may not be aware of usage of icons.link logo and home icon both and make your home icons looks like a home not like open envelope.

just a suggestion: mention how many questions are there like "5/10" or "5 more to go " and browse some children websites and do real user testing before you deploy the application

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I haven't done any true studies but I have seen that my five year old daughter understands the convention of logo as link to the home page. When she's stuck or confused my daughter resorts to the logo to reset/escape the problem. Even before they can read children can recognize countless logos (brands, TV show titles, etc.). My guess is a traditional "home" icon wouldn't fare any better.

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