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Firstly I would like to say that I don't think there is a concrete rule about where the logo on a website should be – but intuitively I think it should be in the top left at least for continuities sake.

Is it bad UX to have the navigation placed before a company logo and why?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 11 down vote accepted

This article might also help: Jakob Nielsen: Horizontal Attention Leans Left

Extract: People spent more than twice as much time looking at the left side of the page as they did the right:

  • Left half of screen: 69% of viewing time
  • Right half of screen: 30% of viewing time

Simply put: Stick to the conventional layout, because it works perfectly with how people look at Web pages:

  • Keep navigation all the way to the left. This is where people look to find a list of current options.
  • Keep the main content a bit further in from the left.
  • The most important stuff should be showcased between one-third and halfway across the page. This is where users focus their attention the most.
  • Keep secondary content to the right. It won't be seen as much here, but that's okay — not everything can get top billing, and you need a place to put less-important material.
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4  
One could argue that people look at the left part of the screen most of the time because that's where the menus are usually placed. I wonder if there are any studies or A/B tests that show that UX actually suffers from such unconventional layouts. As one designer put it, 'People tend to look at the things you point to". –  exizt May 20 '11 at 10:03
    
@exizt: Good point, would indeed be interesting to see. –  Phil May 20 '11 at 10:18
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@exizt It's a valid point, but it doesn't change the reality that people do look at the left side of the screen first. So unless your goal is to change that behaviour, it's probably best to take advantage of it :) –  Rahul May 20 '11 at 10:21
    
I would say it depends. Properly done, you can align a logo right and place a call to action on the left. According to that same source, the eye moves in an F shape on the page. –  Imperative Jul 7 at 3:33

You do have to pay attention to mental models, what the user is expecting. Now a days, logo on the left and navigation on the right is a convention and a very intuitive layout. If you change it do make sure that your new layout is as intuitive as the other or even more intuitive.

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You can do it. Putting the logo on the top right corner will leave more space on the top left corner for navigation and other useful controls.

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I wouldn't say it's a concrete rule, but it's based on one's cultural preferences.

Western cultures read from left to right and in a way you can say that the logo is the first word in the sentence.

In right to left writing systems it will be more familiar for the end user to have the logo at the right and then continue with the menu.

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You have to decide what is more important for a company and then what is more representative for that company's website: the logo or the navigation.

The positioning of the logo in the top left corner is not a rule set in stone, it's a result of the research that tells us that the eye movement on a website usually starts from the left side. You need to read more on eye movement patters, especially about the F-pattern which is relevant in this case. The bottom line is that if you want the logo to be viewed first, then it would be a good idea to place it on the left side.

But, if you acknowledge this and still want to do something else, to be a little different, you could try to change things. I am sure the visitors will still see the logo.

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