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Imagine there's a website with its content, but it also offers accounts that users can activate through this website. The account is basically the main functionality. (The website is mostly about this account and what to do within it).

My problem is: on a website the logo directs to the homepage. But what about the same logo within the account, when the user is logged in. Should it direct to the website home page or the account dashboard? What would users normally expect?

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    If the user goes to the website's homepage while logged in already, do they get redirected to the dashboard? – user253751 Feb 13 '18 at 22:43
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    Either way, the href URL should be https://example.com. Whether your account dashboard is located there for logged-in users or at /dashboard is up to you :) – Navin Feb 14 '18 at 0:55
  • @immibis - No, they are directed to the homepage and it is displayed the way it was. – Ola Osinska Feb 14 '18 at 8:38
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    @OlaOsinska Maybe that's your main problem. If "the account is basically the main functionality" of the website, maybe the homepage should be the account for logged-in users. Beware of the XY problem. – zakinster Feb 14 '18 at 14:27
  • How about a dashboard logo (scoping the dashboard) that is based on the brand logo? That way, your users will also have a clear indication of where they are within your system. – Levano Feb 14 '18 at 14:36
45

User would normally expect going back to the home page.

The solution to your problem can be a breadcrumb notion which would help user navigate back to the account dashboard instead of homepage.

Find out more about breadcrumb here

Here is a rough wire-frame for the concept explained above

Account Wireframe

27

I would expect the logo to redirect to the root of the website.

Another way to look at the problem would be to "replace" the root of the website with the actual account-related content : see Twitter, for example.

twitter public homepa

After you log in, the home page displays your customized timeline; to the user, it's basically a different website.

Of course, that only works if there is no need for them to visit the public content after they're logged in.

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    Exactly. Once signed up/logged in, it makes sense to go to the authenticated root of the website. – Tim Medora Feb 13 '18 at 22:13
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The logo normally navigates (and is expected to) to the highest level of the websites hierarchy.

Does the hierarchy of the account section depict the home page at the top or the account dashboard?

In general, the user will expect this to take them to the home page - it may be worth adding a notification to say something along the lines of 'are you sure you wish to navigate away from your account?' to let the user know this is about to happen.

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    I wouldn't use a confirmation for something so common as a home page link. By asking 'are you sure?' you're suggesting to the user that this is an unsafe action that they may not want to take - which clicking through to the homepage should basically never be, especially because users often use the logo-link as an 'emergency exit' if they get stuck. – Beejamin Feb 13 '18 at 14:32
  • The wording used was just an example. The idea is to notify the user they are now moving away from their current location on the site - only relevant if that's the intended purpose of the logo. – sclarke Feb 13 '18 at 14:55
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    I still think if you raise any kind of confirmation on clicking a 'home' link, users are going to react with "eep, what did I do wrong?" before (if) they even read the message text. – Beejamin Feb 14 '18 at 1:28
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As others have said, the logo is expected to navigate to the top-level of the site hierarchy, which generally is the home page.

It's also a common pattern to have the 'home page' differ substantially in content and presentation based on whether the user is logged into an account or not. So, while the user is not logged in, the homepage shows the 'sales pitch' describing the service and convincing people to join, and when they are logged in, it shows 'dashboard' style content and controls for the account.

The main obstacle with that pattern is when the user may need the 'logged out' content while logged in - whether that applies will depend on the specifics of the service.

2

Logo should Always navigate to the 'main' content ie, 'home page' of the site If I want to go to 'my dashboard', I would look for and expect to find a menu item, 'button' labeled as such: / 'My Account' etc.

The 'Logo' belongs to the website and should link to it's information. It has No logical link to 'the user' (it's not their 'avatar') so linking to 'their page', especially their account management (dashboard) makes no sense.

Some 'social sites' consider 'home' to be the 'feed', 'news' etc eg the content only a registered / logged in user would see vs their account page. In that instance, that 'feed' page could be considered the 'top', 'main' page, but Not the 'home page'.

I've been linking logos to the 'home page' since the mid-90's & I expect it.

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