Your home page is the most valuable online real estate your company has. No other page serves so many purposes or receives so much attention. As a result, the intuitive action for most companies is to cram as much information on there as possible so that nothing gets missed.
The problem with this method is that the more information you include, the less attention the brain gives to each piece. In other words, you are diluting your most important messages by adding too many options for the visitor. Your most important points get lost in the smoke of battle.
Designing your homepage is a compromise. Determine which messages and calls to action are truly important to your end goals and which are distracting. In the end, if you are losing the big picture message, then something is wrong.
Not sure if your home page is too cluttered? Try asking a friend who’s not familiar with you website to sit down and view the page. Note whether or not they can quickly answer these basic questions without doing too much analysis:
- What kind of company is this?
- What do they offer?
- Why is this company better than the rest?
- How am I supposed to navigate this site?
If there is any confusion over these questions, it may mean visitors are being overstimulated by extraneous information. Here are a few tips to help with this problem:
- Include a descriptive tagline
- Include a quick-hit one- or two-sentence description of your unique value proposition
- Remove any elements on the page that raise questions. This includes unclear or ‘fluff’ language, distracting promotions, random widgets, and unnecessary sub menus.
- Use fonts sizes and section colors to create hierarchies of importance. The visitor should know which part of the page is most important without having to think through it.
Designing your home page is not an easy task, especially when multiple stakeholders are jockeying for a piece of the pie. But if you focus on the big picture and giving the user an intuitive experience, you will be one step closer to winning the home page battle.