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I'm designing a website for a rather unknown software company. The company likes the design but cannnot get along with our desicion to center their logo on the top of their page, although all the other elements are centered. Therefore a left aligned logo wouldn't look good. I know, it seems all UX studies prove them right, but positioning the logo in the center isn't a unpopular practice anymore.

Furthermore I think the way we read a website has adapted the last 10 years. Are there any studies about this topic that could help prove my point?

Thanks

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    You're asking if there are any studies about this, yet you state in your question "it seems all UX studies prove them right". I would say that if you have your evidence and the client wants it positioned on the left then that's what you should do. – JonW Jun 4 '14 at 15:35
  • Some sort of mockup of a layout would help, so others can see the two options you have (centered, and left aligned). Is it not an option to have the logo left aligned in the center, much the same way as the UX logo is positioned on this page? – Joe Jun 4 '14 at 15:41
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    Geez. What catastrophe do they think will happen if their logo's centered? Nobody will see it? – Ken Mohnkern Jun 4 '14 at 15:51
  • @JonW You have a point, but the latest studies i can find are nngroup.com / 2006 – user3707715 Jun 4 '14 at 15:52
  • @KenMohnkern Exactly! – user3707715 Jun 4 '14 at 15:53
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There is nothing wrong with putting the logo in the center. You're not going to implode anything. What you're fighting though is what is called the "f-shaped pattern".

Nielson did a study in 2006 (which I believe you found, based on your comments above) that showed people tend to scan a page from left-to-right, top-to-bottom in a "f shape". http://www.nngroup.com/articles/f-shaped-pattern-reading-web-content/

enter image description here

While this study is back in 2006, it is based on the natural scan pattern of the web users tested. These users would be familiar with a left-to-right scan pattern (i.e., most western cultures), versus someone with a right-to-left or alternative scan pattern in other media.

How we scan media really hasn't changed. There is no particular evidence that western cultures have stopped scanning from left-to-right and top-to-bottom, as we continue to do so in all other media types.

What type of information you are presenting on your web site is also important. The f-shaped pattern shows you that people will capture certain information if it is placed appropriately on your site, and also that something important can be entirely missed (or glazed over) if it is put in the "wrong" place.

To bring this study into the more recent years, here are two articles that were posted in 2012 that discuss the pattern and give relevant information to more current web design patterns:

http://www.timeforcake.com/blog/post/web-designer-secrets-the-f-pattern-demystified/

http://webdesign.tutsplus.com/articles/understanding-the-f-layout-in-web-design--webdesign-687

The 'tutsplus' article has a "chicken or the egg" section about which comes first, here is what it says:

So which came first? Was the F-Layout designed in response to people scanning sites in the F-Pattern, or did web-surfers begin scanning pages in the F-Pattern as a response to so many sites being designed that way... My personal guess is that it's a little bit of both. Yes, people have always been reading top-to-bottom, left-to-right; but the prevalence of the 2-column site layout certainly encourages website visitors to scan the way that they do.

The simple fact is that the F-Pattern is supported by research, so whether or not you want your layout to adhere closely to it, it's worth at least considering how visitors will react to your site if they do prefer to "F-scan" the web.

(emphasis added by me, concerning research support)

The 'tutsplus' article also runs the same tests on a more modern layout.

Does this demand your logo be left-align, or centered-aligned? No, such a scan pattern can be supported with it being in either place. But your logo may be less salient if placed in the center, then if in the top-left.

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    I think this is a nice answer as it points out the F-Shape research, but also puts in a nice bit of skepticism (which I completely agree with). – DA01 Jun 4 '14 at 16:55
  • @DA01 upvote it – Fresheyeball Jun 4 '14 at 17:02
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Getting back to the homepage is about 6 times harder when the logo is placed in the center of a page compared to when it’s in the top left corner.

Nielsen Norman Group conducted a study in July, 2016 - You can read more about it here: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/centered-logos/

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