August 31, 2007

Branding Crimes: 1. Missing Logo

Yes, the Interface is the brand, and we all appreciate that Toyota (no, it’s not Reuters or Havoline) now uses legible font sizes—but few interfaces qualify to leave out the main orientative element… And this one certainly doesn’t. So where is the logo? And how could this happen?

Toyota no logo

Here are three most common scenarios:

  1. The decision to leave out the logo in the upper left or right corner goes back to obnoxious paper based branding guidelines: “Use the logo as a lay over in pictures only…”
  2. It’s another award winning internal decision: “…we are Toyota and we do whatever we want with our site…”
  3. Toyota just hired the most advanced web design agency around: “Leaving out the logo is a small step for Toyota and one giant leap for web design…”

You have to see it to believe it—but don’t click anything if you dislike popups. And if you still wonder why car websites have low traffic: Read this.

Update: Some links on the subject

Putting the logo in the upper left is an old standard that obviously is not obvious enough for people outside our field. Maybe we should have provided this info in the first place, instead of tricking you into silly comments ; ). So here is some info to chew upon:

“A recommended standard is to put a corporate or organizational logo in the upper left corner of the screen (upper right corner in countries using a right-to-left language).”

Jacob Nielsen, 1996

“The company logo in the upper left corner of a webpage has become one of the most standard elements on web interfaces. Designers began placing it here because the occidental reading direction moves from left to right and because of this the company’s logo is likely be the first thing seen on the page. Studies have confirmed that features in the first screen quadrant are indeed noticed faster than others placed on the bottom right. Of course this can change if stronger graphics dominate other parts of the screen.”

usability.About.com

A conference on Improving Web Usability (9th Annual Accessing Higher Ground 2006, Trace Donald, Auburn University) states the following key point on Page layout:

1. Keep a consistent navigational structure
2. Locate your name or logo in the upper left corner of each page
3. Link it to your homepage
4. Locate Search boxes in the upper right corner
5. Don’t link to the page you are on

Recent Discussion started by CNN’s CD: Why do we insist on placing the logo in thetopleft corner?

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