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I have an issue around navigation that I thought I would put to the wider UX world instead of continue the circular discussions within the office.

The main goal of our new website is to get people to sign up to a free trial. Initially, we started with a sign up link AND a Free trial link in the main menu navigation. The Free Trial link was styled differently to the rest of the nav to make it stand out. Both links however, go to the same page;

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

Initial feedback was that it was confusing that both links, differently labelled went to the same page. My speculative guess is that the user was expecting perhaps different behaviour or information on the Free Trial link.

Therefore, my gut feel was to keep the sign up link in the main nav and move the CTA from the main nav and place it above within the banner as per;

mockup

download bmml source

The above would enable the CTA to remain in the same place on every page but be distinguished from the main nav. The issue with this method was that the banner design - logo and strapline - doesnt allow really for an aesthetically placed CTA. Therefore, on discussions with the designer, we came up with this as a possible solution;

mockup

download bmml source

I'm still not convinced and I've no idea if this will be as effective as any other CTA method but I would be interested to hear what other UX pros think about this.

  • I think the effectiveness of the CTA is more related to the valuable proposition, than to its visual form. Make the proposition convincing and persuasive enough and place CTA also along with "decision" and "emotional" points. – Alexey Kolchenko May 29 '14 at 15:14
  • Ok, that makes sense in terms of the CTA itself. But I wonder if we should be mixing it with main navigation 'logic'? – TheSaint May 29 '14 at 15:28
  • You could use this UX.StackExchange site as an example. The main navigation (if you can call it that) consists of 5 nav options (questions, tags, users, badges, unanswered) followed by a main CTA 'Ask Question' button styled differently but still within the main navigation area. I have no test data to say how effective this is, but you clearly found that button no problem! – JonW May 29 '14 at 15:47
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Remove "Sign Up", keep CTA on the right side as on your 1st mockup.

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Your first two examples are big not good in my opinion, and if you are to go with one of these three options your third option is definitely the cleanest and most obvious to the user.

However, I would have to agree with @JonW about taking a page out of UX.Stackexchange site as a template or at least and idea on how to represent it.

I did create a little mock-up on how you could put that into effect: Free-Trial

I also included a note, if you are going to have a logo and it's going to lead to your home page then I would remove the home button in the nav bar. If the logo will not lead to the home page than you can leave it as is. Just some suggestions, hope it helps.

  • Thanks - but I wonder why the first two are a not good as you say. Is it because you have two links to the same page, or for some other reasons? – TheSaint May 30 '14 at 8:53
  • They look good, but the issue is that you should never have 2 links on one page that lead to the same page. It just tends to be bad UX practice and is unnecessary overall. – Nick_M May 30 '14 at 13:41

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