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I'm working on a printing and drop-shipping website which has been growing fast lately with users and features so it becomes difficult to manage IA. Here is the situation.

It has a landing page, which contains some of the core features (product list and mockup generator). If you register and sign in, you land in a dashboard, which shows all your stats and gives you access to your personal stores, integrations, reports etc. But if you still want to access home page, you have a link on the upper left corner to swtich, and vice versa.

This feels a bit confusing, but rethinking the whole information architecture is not an option right now. Here is the navigation example: enter image description here

I wanted to know if anyone has been dealing with similar navigation funnel and could share some experience or best practice advice.

  • When your users sign in do they usually want to do something; or, do they want to track something? – Josh Bruce Oct 20 '17 at 14:45
  • You have signed in because you probably wanted to do something. But once you have done that, you are kept logged in. Which means that I can see many different scenarios in the analytics for every visit. They are switching back and forth between home page and dashboard, but that switch is confusing, as heard from feedback – Toms Rīts Oct 26 '17 at 7:51
  • Thanks. To confirm I’m seeing the screenshot and understanding the problem: the “switch” is essentially the “New Order” button and we can’t change the, just UI? – Josh Bruce Oct 26 '17 at 12:04
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That fact that the landing page contains some of the core features doesn't seem right if the same functionality doesn't present in dashboard. Perhaps, it should be reconsidered keeping in mind that dashboard itself should contain all of the available instruments and controls.

Since rethinking the whole information architecture is not an option, the exact problem with the switcher should be identified for now.

The switcher already presents in the place where it's expected. There two probable reasons why it confuses your site's users I can think of:

  • a user cannot notice it,
  • or there is no clear indication in what layout the site in.

The former issue can be solved by means of highlighting the button and making evident of the fact that such functionality presents. The latter issue can be eliminated with introduction of tabs ("Dashboard" and "Homepage") or any other indication of distinction between the two possible layouts.

Although, there are some probable issues, it's best to begin with identifying what exactly confused a user asking some clarifying questions.

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