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Take this stackexchange UX page itself as an example. It contains the StackExchange logo and the words "UX User Experience" (website name) in huge letters.

If you're creating a single-page-application like GMail, you'd want the User to have more space for functionality. Does it really make sense to allow the website name to take up so much space? If yes, why?

As for the logo, I understand that for any brand, showing their logo is of prime importance, but is it really necessary to show it on the top-left corner? Would it constitute a visibility problem if it is shown at the top-right corner of the page or as a watermark at any area on the top/side of the page?

  • Just because there is theoretical space available to put content, that doesn't mean it should be filled with it. Logo and branding is a form of white space. What would you prefer to look at all day; this layout or something like this? – JonW May 12 '14 at 11:30
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When we are lost we look for landmarks, if you see the Eiffel tower then you know you are in Paris.

The website logo is such a landmark.

If you see the UX logo on the top, then you instantly know: "I am on the UserExperience StackExchange".

There can be other of such "landmarks" on a website, but unlike the logo they might not appear on all sub-pages and might be lost on site redesigns.

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If I follow correctly, you are wondering why display real estate is spent on branding and logo's? My answer is that it is in fact, good usability. The simplest concept of this is Nielsen’s "Recognition Rather Than Recall". The system that users are currently using, a browser, can hold many different sites, and visit exponentially more. It important that users are able to correctly recognize a site rather then need to be able to recall what it should look like. A much more relevant answer is that you are at risk of a bias based on your field, ie. branding and logo's are all part of marketing as well, and play a much more important role there. Any good design doesn't favor just one field, but can meet the needs of its various stakeholders.

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