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What could be creative alternatives for word 'Home' on a social network applications that implies as a default space/ a living space or a place where all the updates gather?

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11 Answers 11

up vote 27 down vote accepted

...What's wrong with 'Home'?

It's more important to be usable than creative.

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Yep +1 - nearly a billion google search results for the term 'home page'. 20.68 billion for 'home' and 21.31 billion for 'page'. The planet is telling you something here... –  Roger Attrill Jul 7 '11 at 19:59
    
Thanks you both. –  user01 Jul 8 '11 at 7:40
    
@Roger Attrill, those are weird searches -- what could the people be looking for? The homepage of the site they were on last week? :P If so, not very tech savvy people –  Baumr Nov 28 '12 at 11:24
    
@Baumr - that's not the number of searches, but rather search results. That is, the term 'home' is very, very common on the web. –  Jimmy Breck-McKye Nov 28 '12 at 11:36
    
Ah, that makes more sense, but "home" would be present in many industry pages - e.g. real estate agents, moving companies, etc. –  Baumr Nov 28 '12 at 11:47
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Your application or company logo (as long as it is simple).

This is already a standard for web sites so it seems like a safe choice.

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I'm pretty sure there's a study stating that only about 60% uf normal users get the logo-home link. Can't find it anymore though :( –  Phil Jul 7 '11 at 14:16
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Not sure if it's what I had in mind, but here's Quote from Steve Krug's 'Don't Make Me Think': "One of the most crucial items in the persistent navigation is a button or link that takes me to the site's Home page. Having a Home button in sight at all times offers reassurance that no matter how lost I may get, I can always start over, like pressing a Reset button or using a "Get out of Jail free" card. –  Phil Jul 7 '11 at 14:26
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The website logo acting as a homepage link is one of the guidelines in Nielsen's Homepage Usability book. –  Matt Goddard Jul 7 '11 at 14:43
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@Matt Goddard: I that a reply to my comments? If yes: Of course the logo should be linked, but IMO there should also be a item in the main navigation taking you to the home page. –  Phil Jul 7 '11 at 15:38
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@Phil Getting 60% of users to do anything is a victory in and of itself. –  Virtuosi Media Jan 16 '12 at 2:46
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A nice trick that is slowly spreading around is using a house icon with no text.

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I've seen that! –  Roger Attrill Jul 7 '11 at 10:46
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What can work is a small representation of your homepage. G+ uses a combination of a house and a feed:

google+ home button

Another common one is the grid icon, used by Facebook, Yelp and many others:

Facebook iPhone app home button

(of course this only makes sense if you have a grid navigation)

So if your homepage has a distinctive layout, this approach might work.

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I personally disagree with this approach, particularly in the Facebook iPhone app example that you gave. I think that button is very hard to discover or parse at first, especially without the < back arrow shaped button to indicate returning to the previous level. I think the google home logo works a little better, especially as part of a nav bar with a few discreet views. –  sirtimbly Jul 20 '11 at 20:20
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If you're just talking about the stream of items:

  • Facebook calls it News Feed.
  • Twitter calls it Timeline.
  • I believe Google+ calls it Streams.
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  • Hub
  • Hang out
  • The gist
  • Harbour
  • Den
  • My patch
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Ask your users. There's a test known as a 'semantic free association' task (or 'freelisting' for meeting room coolness) in which you give a word to someone and ask them to tell you the first n words that come into their heads.

So you would say, 'Home' and they might say, 'safe, base, secure' which gives you options that a) you and other UX ppl might not have thought of and b) are terms actually used by users.

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  • Lobby
  • sitename central
  • sitename hub
  • market square / town square / site square
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Maybe a kind of personnalised word ('My stream' / 'My Hub', etc.) ?

An interesting fact is that in many countries now the house icon represents the 'Home' item whereas the word for the homepage has nothing to do with a House. For example in France it's Accueil (that could be translated as 'Welcome') but it is quite common to see a house icon for a homepage.

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Try something like domain name, if you at the top header of the ux.stackexhange.com, you will see site name icons.

E.g. like UX, face book

View the following site, it's have both features picture as well as site name, when you mouse over on the logo there is home icon.

TEO

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Home is wrong from an SEO point of view. The recommendation is to use the site's name to enforce branding on search.

For example if the site is called StackExchange.com, the "home" menu option will be StackExchange.

You can consider removing Home altogether, and simply using the app's logo that is on the header by default.

Also, depending on localization, Home does not work everywhere: in Spanish you won't see Hogar as a link to the main page.

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From SEO point main navigation will be ignored by crawlers. It has no juice or at least very weak. –  UX-Geek Jan 16 '12 at 14:39
    
@webdesigner this answer is intended for people looking for a more general scope. The answer marked "right" says there is "nothing wrong" with Home and I wanted to point out that is not always true (even though it can be in your case). –  Naoise Golden Jan 16 '12 at 15:06
    
No, I didn't. I said that 'Home' shouldn't be rejected just because it is not original. It's moot anyway, as this forum is about UX, not SEO. Also, another thing: commenting others' answers with pointers to your own is considered a little bit spammy - it's probably not good practice. –  Jimmy Breck-McKye Jan 17 '12 at 13:02
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