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Using your homepage as a site summary

From: User Experience Fundamentals for Web Design

Video: Using your homepage as a site summary

Everything on your site rolls up to the Homepage. It should say what the site is about and give launching off points to find what's available, even if visitors to your site most frequently start deeper within your content pages, because they have come from the search results page or a link, they are likely to check out your Homepage if they are interested in your site. Your Homepage needs to clearly say what the site does. You should phrase this in terms of user need. In other words, how do you support a need that your visitors have. Back in Chapter 3, we saw that it's important to explain what your site is about in a concise way and use that for the site's tagline that appears on every page.

Using your homepage as a site summary

Everything on your site rolls up to the Homepage. It should say what the site is about and give launching off points to find what's available, even if visitors to your site most frequently start deeper within your content pages, because they have come from the search results page or a link, they are likely to check out your Homepage if they are interested in your site. Your Homepage needs to clearly say what the site does. You should phrase this in terms of user need. In other words, how do you support a need that your visitors have. Back in Chapter 3, we saw that it's important to explain what your site is about in a concise way and use that for the site's tagline that appears on every page.

All the content on your Homepage should support this tagline statement. The Homepage is the place to show off the freshest and most important content on the site. Don't waste space with a welcome message; instead make people feel welcome by giving them plenty of content to dive into. The Homepage is place to orient people, give them high-level data, and then point them to the places they should check out next on your site. The Homepage is also a good location for links to top tasks. These links might be in the form of page summary or they could be a list of, "I want to" style navigation links in the content area.

You probably already know what the top tasks are, but a quick look at your site's server log metrics will tell you what the most popular content is. The Homepage is one location where you have a say in what visitors do next. So tell them what you want them to do. In other words, include your call to action. Remember though, it might be too early to ask people to buy from you at this point. So maybe the call here is to check out your products or an invitation to learn more about the topics on your site. Then you can refine the call to action on subsequent pages deeper within the site.

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This video is part of

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User Experience Fundamentals for Web Design

52 video lessons · 25687 viewers

Chris Nodder
Author

 
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  1. 1m 7s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
  2. 4m 37s
    1. Building a site for your visitors
      1m 29s
    2. Understanding how people browse the web
      45s
    3. It's all about information
      48s
    4. What causes people to leave sites?
      1m 35s
  3. 3m 50s
    1. Simple design
      1m 9s
    2. Consistent design
      1m 11s
    3. Standard design
      1m 30s
  4. 20m 55s
    1. Elements of navigation
      1m 21s
    2. Content has a structure
      2m 18s
    3. Understanding menus
      3m 19s
    4. Reviewing some menu myths
      2m 4s
    5. Working with site maps
      1m 5s
    6. Adding search to your site
      2m 53s
    7. Understanding links
      3m 43s
    8. Exploring clickable elements
      1m 18s
    9. Understanding Fitts's Law
      2m 54s
  5. 11m 19s
    1. People can begin from any page on your site
      1m 24s
    2. Elements every web page should have
      3m 25s
    3. Creating progressive navigation
      3m 22s
    4. Arranging your content
      3m 8s
  6. 8m 7s
    1. How people read on the web
      2m 31s
    2. Writing for information exchange
      1m 43s
    3. Formatting pages for information exchange
      3m 53s
  7. 7m 21s
    1. Using your homepage as a site summary
      1m 50s
    2. Creating fresh content
      1m 20s
    3. Displaying navigation and search
      1m 25s
    4. The five-second test
      2m 46s
  8. 8m 8s
    1. Showing people what you've got
      3m 50s
    2. Making comparisons easy
      1m 24s
    3. Creating landing pages from ad campaigns
      2m 54s
  9. 11m 22s
    1. The real purpose of detail and product pages
      1m 16s
    2. Writing descriptive text
      2m 4s
    3. Using images to set context
      2m 17s
    4. Showing the price for products
      2m 27s
    5. Have a call to action
      1m 36s
    6. About Us: a special detail page
      1m 42s
  10. 10m 58s
    1. Ask for information in context
      2m 25s
    2. Making forms as painless as possible
      2m 34s
    3. Creating form fields
      3m 37s
    4. Handling errors gracefully
      2m 22s
  11. 9m 9s
    1. Using different types of media
      1m 55s
    2. Simple question: Does it enhance the experience?
      2m 15s
    3. Using graphics for explanation, not decoration
      1m 17s
    4. What is interactive content?
      1m 58s
    5. Laying out your page for media
      1m 44s
  12. 5m 3s
    1. Making money without selling out
      1m 37s
    2. Adding graphical ads
      2m 10s
    3. Creating text ads
      1m 16s
  13. 3m 42s
    1. Simple, consistent, and standard design
      2m 4s
    2. Consider your users and you'll be fine
      1m 38s
  14. 1m 31s
    1. More resources
      1m 31s

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