Your homepage is the first impression many users will have of your business, it is after all the gateway to a site’s content as well as a globally understood convention - all websites have homepages.
Based on our user experience evaluations of countless websites we have identified six simple concepts to help you create your perfect homepage.
1. Focus on your key personas
Identify your primary persona before you start thinking about your homepage content, as this user's needs will bring you greater returns. Aim to summarise what your site is all about from this user's point of view, and deliver your message quickly. It is an established User Experience design convention that if you try to please everyone you end up pleasing nobody, so keep all secondary information on level two pages or further down the homepage with a reduced visual priority.
2. Keep it simple
People will have great user experiences when they instantly understand what your website is for and can quickly determine what to do next. To achieve this, you should remove all non-essential content and visual noise to reduce the time it takes users to identify their next steps.
3. Aid navigation
Today we are told to treat every page as a homepage, as Google results often contain links to pages within your website. Though this is true, we must remember that having an actual homepage is a universally understood convention, and users will visit your homepage the moment they feel lost or want to start a new user journey. You can help the majority of these users by including your website's primary calls to action and messages near the top of the homepage.
4. Make it easy to scan
One of the hardest things for website owners to accept is that the people who visit their homepage generally read as little as possible, often making decisions based on a single word. This behaviour can be exaggerated if a user is overwhelmed by the content. Encourage your users to read more and make better decisions by delivering your content in small chunks using simple and concise language. Surround it with sufficient white space, and add visual elements to help users group and easily identify the different blocks of content.
5. Have clear calls to action
Generally speaking, users understand that home pages tend to contain a high-level summary of the website's content, and they often have a single goal when visiting your website. Help users by making sure your buttons and links clearly stand out, look clickable and are limited to the primary user journeys on the website.
6. Delight you users
Remember that being easy to use is only part of a great user experience, and many of the most successful websites also combine great visuals, colours and interactions to delight their users.
We would love to know any thoughts you have on creating great homepages, and if you think our ideas might help your next web project, give us a call.