As Danish usability consultant, Jakob Nielsen says, “your homepage is often your first — and possibly your last — chance to attract and retain each customer.”
What does your website homepage say about your company? Is it the “face” you want users to first meet? Does it put new users at ease and create a lasting impression? If you answered “no” to these questions, follow our three homepage tips for a winning website.
1. Your Homepage At-A-Glance
Are you a trendy footwear retailer? Do you offer face-painting services for parties? Is your homepage tailored to your unique audience? It takes a user a rapid 0.05 seconds to form an opinion about your website.
Your homepage should clearly state what your company does, why your user should explore further, what differentiates you from the competition, and what action you’d like the user to take. Try to keep your messaging simple, but impactful and descriptive, especially when it comes to headlines and calls-to-action (CTAs).
Photography is your friend here! Photography goes a long way to communicate your business objectives and values. Include simple lifestyle and product photography to draw attention, without looking too staged (stock photos) or cluttered. If you sell services instead of products, use environmental or human-interest (lifestyle) photography.
Step it up a notch by using GIFs or quality video content. Regardless of the medium, ensure the imagery makes sense and furthers your brand’s story.
Visitors to Hello Fresh’s website, instantly learn Hello Fresh is a home cooking service that provides simple recipes and pre-measured ingredients. The call-to-action to “view our plans” is front and center.
2. Provide Clear Action
Calls-to-action (CTAs) should be prominent and easy to find throughout your website. An effective CTA tells the website user what action to take next. Highlight descriptive action language, such as buy now, explore new arrivals, donate, and learn more.
CTAs can come in many forms: text links, buttons, and even titles. Buttons are the most effective type of CTAs, because they are intentionally created to entice a click.
Your button’s positioning, size, and color all impact engagement. Colors have psychological, associated meanings, so choose an actionable brand color (or two) wisely. Is gray one of your brand colors? Try to avoid using the color for buttons – users can mistake this to mean the CTA is inactive.
When determining CTA placement, consider popular web scanning patterns, such as “F” and “Z” patterns. This is the natural path of a user’s eye during the first few moments of landing on a webpage (source NNGROUP/UXPIN).
(Images source: http://blog.geveo.com/UX-enhancing-design-layouts)
Don’t forget about mobile! Buttons should be a “thumb-size” when viewing on a mobile device – 44×44 pixels is a good rule of thumb (no pun intended).
Spotify’s homepage assumes users know that Spotify is a music streaming service and prompts them to start a free trial for the Premium service with a bold green CTA. Green means go – plus it’s on-brand.
3. Homepage Design – Lookin’ Good
Readability is key for effective web design. Typefaces (aka fonts), text sizes, and weights guide users content consumption on your website. This is called a visual hierarchy: providing a combination of visual text treatments informs users on how to scan and absorb basic information about your company and ensures important elements stand out.
Of course, don’t go too crazy. A simple and thoughtful design outperforms a hectic or confusing webpage. When selecting a font for your website, look for fonts that come in many weights (thin, bold, heavy, black etc.) to give you variety while still having a clean and elegant look. Keep font families to a minimum, when possible. Roboto is a great example of a free web-font with many weights and treatments to use in different contexts.
How Does Your Homepage Stack Up?
Do you have a winning website, or could you use some professional help? Our Creative Services and User Experience team focuses on relevant, useful, engaging, and user-centric design that drives growth.
Whether you need advice on a landing page or require a full brand overhaul, we can help. Want to learn more? Get in touch.