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lets say you have a site called "example.com", which is the homepage of a company that provides a login for its customers and different functions like a personal backoffice, learning material and company related stuff like news, about etc.

One of the things that site contains is a link to a sub-domain which basically is a media-area for the customers where they can watch videos from different topics that are related to their daily work, when the user clicks on that link, the sub-domain (lets call it videos.example.com) opens in a new tab.

What the project manager suggested

He wanted to add a home-icon next to the company logo on the left of the head-area, the company logo should act as a link to "example.com" the home icon should link back to "videos.example.com".

In my opinion thats to confusing for the user, since we are currently using a home-icon on "example.com" as a link back to the starting-page, users might expect that the home-icon will take them back to "example.com" instead of "videos.example.com", also most users click on the logo to jump back to the starting page, which makes it even more confusing.

I said we should not place them next to each other, we should only use the logo instead of a home-icon to take the user back to the starting page.

I still want to provide the users a way to get "back" to "example.com", and now i am looking for a good, understandable way how to do this.

Do you have any proposals on how to make that as transparent as possible?

Btw. the header will consist of Logo + 5 navigation points + search bar + login option

  • What will the header contain on videos.example.com and on example.com? Will both contain the 'same' elements as in 5 links + search bar + login? or will videos.example.com contain different links in the header? – Kevin M. Feb 14 at 9:08
  • They contain different links, "example.com" has a more complex navigation which can go up to three levels deep, while "videos.example.com" has a really "light" navigation which is only 1 level deep and contains links to different video categories. They share Logo, Login and search bar (search bar on videos.example.com is more prominent, since its a central element of the page). – Pectoralis Major Feb 14 at 9:30
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    Ah ok, I was going to write an answer but something important came up. Regardless this article should help a lot: nngroup.com/articles/homepage-links . The 8th point focuses on something like your current problem. if you still have questions others will probably be able to help you. – Kevin M. Feb 14 at 10:07
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It seems as if it might be best to treat the subdomains as the major sections of the site itself (but that's an assumption, without knowing your architecture or any other details). Might the main subdomain "home" pages be treated as landing pages for subsections within the site? Thus those subdomains become the main navigation items on the home page, each subdomain landing page can contain its own subnavigation, and the home link can remain consistent in placement and action for every lower level page.

Here's an example of something like this: enter image description here

If the main domain home page already has too many navigation sections to add more for each subdomain, either you may need to consider some re-architecture, or perhaps each subdomain deserves to be its own site with its own identity, and "example.com" becomes less important entity, as Gap Inc. has done with all of its sub-brands:

enter image description here

The only place you can access the MAIN corporate page - which is less important to their most valuable target audience - is through the footer.

It all depends on the goals of your user, of course. Without a lot more context it would be very hard to say!

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