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We are building a white-labeled 'marketplace' application for a corporate brand. Their brand logo will reside in the upper left corner of the NAV and will have a subhead of 'marketplace'. The customer will come to the 'marketplace' App via corporate site SSO and links embedded in the corporate pages.

We are discussing click best practices and recognize that links to the application's HOME or the corporate HOME are both acceptable depending on affordances. The 'marketplace' text will be too small to link independently. In the case where the brand logo links to either of these destinations, there would be a subordinate link in the NAV to the other product.

Another option would be to involve a subtle UI that allows the user to click the logo and choose 'brand' or 'marketplace' HOME links via an overlay popover.

Of these three choices (for a nested web app), which is best? Granted testing can and will help to validate this choice but we are looking for a good starting place.

  • A) Brand logo with 'marketplace' subhead should route to brand home
  • B) Brand logo with 'marketplace' subhead should route to app home
  • C) Brand logo with 'marketplace' subhead should have dropdown to select user preference destination

Thanks.

  • Just to clarify -- when you say "application" and "app" are you referring to an app that the user would download to their mobile device and is external from the corporate website? – Julia Rezsnyak Oct 27 '15 at 22:42
  • No. By "app" or "application" I'm referring to a web app that is a standalone product, not a subset of pages within the corporate website. It relies on it's own NAV and design elements. – syncr Oct 28 '15 at 1:06
  • How often would the user need to leave the app to go to the brand homepage? What is the probability of that happening? – Igorek Oct 28 '15 at 3:47
  • The "marketplace" is a sub-feature in a sense of the larger product offering delivered by the brand owner. That said, the "marketplace" offers a distinct and complete end-to-end transactional experience for the user. Once familiar with the "marketplace" the user would sill need to login via the "brand" dashboard in order to access the "marketplace". – syncr Oct 28 '15 at 5:05
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Option C is a no go because: usability testing I've watched in the past where we also tried to use a dropdown-like behavior - not a singe user understood what that was and why. This pattern is rarely used and is not intuitive.

Option A and B is an arguable point. You may see some customers who would expect to go to the brand homepage if the logo is for a brand and not a brand marketplace. on the opposite side, you may see other group of users expect to go to the brand marketplace home and remain within an app.

Suggestion

Run a usability study and compare the results before making a final decision as you user base will show you most common expectation.

Quick Fix

If you dont have a luxury to run this study, I would guess Option B is the safest one, but you would have to ensure the brand logo is accompanied by the market name to set proper context. In addition, a footer link to the branded homepage would close the loop as well.

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    Great feedback. Eliminating Option C helps the decision significantly. We included it as the most neutral and least political choice. We will be doing a round of testing in the future and we can test these two remaining variants. – syncr Oct 28 '15 at 16:31
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Since the user is in the app, any links presented to them should keep them there. If there is a need for an external link, such as to the corporate website, then the link should include the phrase "full-site". Including this context allows the customer to know without having to click on the link that they will be taken somewhere external to the app in which they are currently performing a task.

My choice would be B with I'd also encourage a link to the full site in the footer, or potentially other logical location within the app's navigation. This provides a convenient and pleasing way of accessing the full site should the user feel the need to access it.

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    Thanks Julia. Your input is helpful. We definitely want to adhere to user expectations and since our user base is very broad but we want to to protect the expectations of those who are less savvy. The newer 'web-app' behavior linked to an text cue is a good way to do that. – syncr Oct 28 '15 at 5:10

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