Listing a URL in a banner

30 Mar 2009 - 3:12pm
7 years ago
3 replies
542 reads


I'm curious as to why the proponents of the "embed the url" want users to remember the url. I would have thought they'd want users to remember either the name of the site or what you represent.

To be honest, though, I wouldn't have a big issue with the suggestion but for one thing - what's suggested isn't memorable. It might have been okay if it was just /remembrance or /dor, but I don't think the two together are catchy.

Studies that support your case would be nice to have, but I don't believe there is a lot freely available. I know Nielsen has done some research (for $), and he has some URL as UI info freely available, but you might be faced with battling this without metrics (hopefully someone will post something that proves my fear ungrounded).

I'd hazard a guess that casual browsers of the USHMM website will remember the main url but nothing below it - certainly not something that lacks semantic traction as suggested.


30 Mar 2009 - 4:35pm
Marty DeAngelo

It's been my experience that unless the URL is ridiculously simple, people
simply won't remember it. Instead, they will click on a strong
call-to-action and bookmark it if they want to come back to it later. Only
the easiest URLs will manage to make their way into memory for later recall.
Thus, we tend to avoid using the URL in most of our banners unless it's '' (which creates a BRAND NAME association, which might stick).
Marty DeAngelo
Director User Experience
Digitas Health

On Mon, Mar 30, 2009 at 7:57 AM, Jamie Bresner <jbresner at> wrote:

> I'm having a bit of a debate with some colleagues about the
> usefulness of adding a URL to a graphic banner or bug that we'll be
> making available to users to download and add to their own sites.
> The banner mentions the date and name of an event and if clicked,
> would take them to the appropriate page on our site. The URL is a bit
> wordy (
> I've made the point that the goal is to get people to click on this
> thing and get them to our site. By adding the URL, it visually just
> adds noise.
> However they think the goal should also be to add the URL so that it
> becomes "embedded in their minds."
> Will this happen? Are users likely to remember a URL they see ever?
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31 Mar 2009 - 9:23am


"since I'm guessing most people are like me and know the organization as "The Holocaust Museum"

Yep. It was only after I'd done it that I realized I'd gone to the website by typing holocaustmuseum into the address bar and hitting Enter. I did so because the actual URL - on the page in front of me - was too long...

30 Mar 2009 - 3:58pm

I agree with Gary. Adding more than one directory is about all you
should ask of people's memory. Even then I wouldn't expect much
traffic to come via typed URL vs. direct click (exception would be
print, radio, or tv mentions).

In this specific case, the domain name acronym alone is probably also
a barrier to memory, since I'm guessing most people are like me and
know the organization as "The Holocaust Museum" rather than

Also, I always provide copy-and-paste code in these situations
instead of asking bloggers to host the image and create a link to the
page themselves. Lower the barrier to entry as much as possible.

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