You've seen a lot of websites. I've built some. So what's up with peoples home pages GETTING IN MY WAY?
You ever get to a website, and you want something, and then some weird splash thing gets in the way. What's up with that?! It's because web designers tell their clients they need to give them two things_
1) a landing page template (an uber-stylized brand themepark with swirly cups) 2) an internal page template (i.e. Everything Else)
And you know what happens? People land on your home page and never go anywhere else. That's cool. But is it because they didn't want to or because they didn't have to?
Here's some tips for a REAL
Landing Portal Page:
- Write down Your Content_ i.e. everything on your site
- Draw boxes around them
- Move the boxes around until you're happy
That's your Portal Page.
Look at the BBC Home Page. It's completely modular content. Want Sports? Sports module. Love Weather? Weather Widget. Hate Clocks? Kill the Clock Widget.
Your Home Page isn't a Home, a Splash, a Landing_ it's a Portal, into every bit of content into your site, a way to flick on several tv channels at once and get a glimpse of what You want, a buffet offering, that You can sample content from.
Here's my "Drumming T-Rex Example Site": Content_
- Brand/Identity (i.e. my t-rex with shades drumming logo)
- Menu Nav to Everything Else
- Brand Intro (60 sec video introducing my t-rex drumming mission
<li>Map + list of Latest t-rex drumming gig events</li> <li>Videos of Gigs (youtube links + player)</li>
Now, here's a User's Experience, broken into several visits to my site_
- First Visit_ User sees the Logo, clicks on the Brand Video_ answers What's this Site about?
- Second Visit_ User clicks the menu, checks out my static content (contact, about, t-rex-aq); already seen the video, bored, wants to troll rest of site
- Third Visit_ User clicks an event, sees the info, list of dates, details, popup on map or goes to Event Detail page; already trolled site, already seen brand vid; wants to know what's up
- Fourth Visit_ User clicks YouTube vids, watches latest episode, watches back-dated episode, goes to Episode Detail pages, leaves artfully supportive comment
- Fifth Visit_ User checks out T-Rex Drumming Blog posts, reads latest post
- Sixth Visit_ repeat 3-5, User's now digested all content, and the home page has become their mini-portal to the site
Now, instead of getting in the way of your user, you're serving them exactly what they want right from the get-go.