Recently a client simply asked me if I could remove the link to the main page on his site. I decided to do some research. What do UX experts think about it? Is this a common practice? I started searching and quickly realized that there are several sites that no longer use a link to the home page in their main navigation.
Experts' Word: focus on user experience
A good user experience seeks to create a positive practice in order to encourage users to embrace the project and come back often. We are at a time when mobile culture expands and many already access the web only from their cell phones. There is a trend towards simplifying site navigation. Instead of bearing a complex structure, website navigation is being reduced to four or five items, which helps the visitor to stay focused on what they need or want to do on the site.
Let's start by looking at the link to the home page, the famous Home link. Giants such as Apple, Amazon, Twitter, and Wikipedia no longer use the Home link to the main page because they no longer consider where the interaction happens, but only a way to promote or present the content.
Essentially, the home link in the main navigation is seen as a comfort to the user. If you "get lost" in the site for some reason, when you see the link you know that you can go back to the beginning and start all over again. The inexistence of the link may lead the user to give up continuing browsing the site and leave. In the case of an e-commerce, for example, this means a decrease in the conversion rate and certain income.
On the other hand, the Home link takes space that could be used for other purposes. By removing it, the user experience can be less frustrating and more intuitive, improving the understanding of information. This encourages more conversions, purchases, views, readings, or whatever action your site promotes among your visitors.
For the best results, before you decide to remove a link from your main navigation, review your site, your user base, and your level of understanding of how to use the web. For example, a site with few links in the main navigation, such as HLVC.design, has a great chance of not being affected by the withdrawal of links, due to its concentrated distribution of content. Make sure that getting rid of any link will make it easier for your users to experience it and not make it difficult.
How to hide a menu item
Joomla provides a feature that allows a menu item to be hidden and is still be present in navigation.
- Create or edit the desired menu item
- Click the Link Type tab
- In the Display in Menu item, click No.
- Save and close
What is the advantage of hiding a menu item?
Joomla generates the URLs of a site from the menu items created.
Here on the HLVC website, the Portfolio link has three sub-items for the categories Webdesign, Illustrations and Visual Identity that are hidden, because the site design follows a minimalist concept. However, it was important, for SEO reasons, that URLs for this content to be published. That is when this feature comes handy.
Once active, it is possible to hide them in the navigation while having the following friendly URLs:
This way, search engines have the exact path to the pages that are not available in the navigation, improving the SEO of the site.