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Simplifying The Guardian’s header

I’ve had a stab at redesiging The Guardian’s home page before. I thought I’d take a different tack this time by concentrating on one part of the page: the header.

What’s wrong with the header?

Current Guardian header: confused, busy, difficult

If we accept that simplifying design equates to reducing the choices available to the user to a few core, meaningful options, then the header fails because:

Summary: too many options, probably because the designers felt everything must be accessible within one click from the home page.

Improving the header

My version

My version of The Guardian's header: simpler and easier

No frills, just a simplification of the header’s purpose. I’ve used titles to further guide readers through the navigation — a simple technique, but one that is really helpful and easy to implement.

I’ve also dropped the .co.uk from the masthead as it only serves to devalue the online brand (i.e. it suggests that readers haven’t encountered the ‘real’, proper Guardian).

Before and after

Current Guardian header: confused, busy, difficult

My version of The Guardian's header: simpler and easier

A lot more scannable and purposeful.