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Should a site's linked logo include the word "Home" in the label?

It's a nearly universal pattern in websites: the organization logo in the top left corner of the page, usually a link to the site homepage. But what text label should that link have?

How the label is provided isn't what we're dealing with here (usually it's by alt text on the logo graphic), but its wording.

Normally, I counsel developers and content editors to only include the visible text in an image in its alt text. For a logo, that's typically the name of the organization.

However, this counsel may change a bit when the image is functional, that is, it serves as the only visible label of an interactive element, such as a link or a button. In this case, the alt text must describe the purpose or destination of the link or control.

Usually, in the case of a linked logo, this still just means including the text in the logo (again, normally the organization name). When you're linking to external sites using the logos of other organizations, the user understands that the link will take them to the "Acme Widgets" page.

But in the case of an in-site homepage link, it's a bit different. Users are primed to look for a link labelled "home". During testing with blind users, I have seen this issue come up often enough that I've changed my mind. Blind users frequently skip right past the logo link, because they hear something like "Acme Widgets logo" (side note: don't ever put "logo" wording in a logo alt text, please), and they don't realize this link will take them to the homepage.

So I now advise to include the "home" wording in the link, as well as the logo text. Put "home" first so that blind users will hear it immediately on focusing the link, and voice control users can find it by speaking "home".

Your end result link text would be something like "Home - Acme Widgets".


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