The logo of a Web site is not only important for branding but also as a navigational element, that many users expect to link to the home page. According to usability guru Jakob Nielsen the first of Ten Good Deeds in Web Design you can do is link your logo to the home page except you are on the home page.
Mr. Nielsen conducted many usability studies and has written groundbreaking articles and books on Web usability. Good reason for me to trust him when it comes to this topic, especially when it sounds completely plausible.
When using Drupal's menu system for linking pages on your site the corresponding menu link gets the CSS class
active when the referred page is being displayed. To make use of this to improve a site's usability you can highlight this link by assigning a different color, background color, etc. Drupal's
l() function also takes care to add the
active class to currently displayed links.
On this site I have to blocks in the sidebar (Recommended Articles, Drupal Modules) with hard-coded links to internal pages using plain HTML. My main reason not to use menu items is because I am too lazy and I don't use the
l() function to not increase the number of database queries more than necessary.
Google launched a new version of their free web statistics and tracking service Google Analytics last Tuesday. The first thing you notice is the completely revised dashbord that displays statistics on visits, pageviews, traffic sources and other data for the past month instead of the past 7 days.
msdewey.com is a search service powered by Microsoft's Live Search. A nice looking woman is distracting the user. Moreover the presentation of the search results is not really user friendly.
The idea is not too bad but the implementation is a usability horror. If you really want to search for something this is probably not the site you will visit.
In this Google TechTalk video Jared M. Spool, founder of User Interface Engineering, a usability research organization talks about effective methods to strengthen a brand on the internet and discusses how recent usability research has uncovered some fascinating truths about how people perceive brands on the internet.