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Gowalla's top nav blog link

While I was writing that last post about Gowalla’s hometown field, I noticed something else that irked me a bit: the blog link in the top right navigation. It’s a small thing to notice and I bet most people don’t even think twice about it. But this time, for one reason or another, I questioned it’s purpose.

Global navigation as a design pattern is pretty simple, and Gowalla’s is one of the simplest. It contains system-wide links (ones that everyone with an account can access), a search field, and account/session related links. Here’s what it looks like:

Gowalla header

In the top left we have system-wide links, followed by a search field, and user-specific links in the top right. This pattern is pretty much rock solid, save for one small detail: the blog link. Why is it there?

Since I don’t normally use Gowalla’s website, I never really paid attention to the links up there. Today I did, and at first I thought “Gowalla added a blog feature? What are they thinking!?” That reaction doesn’t seem too far fetched given the link’s closest companions are settings and sign out links.

Turns out, no, it isn’t a new blog feature for me—just Gowalla’s company blog. Since it isn’t a feature related to me, I’m guessing it is there for exposure. Most companies keep those secondary or tertiary navigation in the footer of their sites, but given company blog’s rise to prominence (especially on the tech scene for controlling your media relations), it makes sense to promote. But is it promoted at the expense of user confusion?

Meh, not really for me to say. I was confused at first, but I think I can forgive it in time. Contextually the link doesn’t belong, and after realizing this I will never cease to see it and feel like it shouldn’t be there.


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