Home Page Design Mistakes
Common mistakes when designing your home page:
1. Having too much information on the home page is detrimental and not enough links. Avoid having too much detailed information on the home page such as company descriptions, detailed news reports, and by all means avoid having too many images on the home page (this contributes to slow page load times). Most people are on your site for a reason. They are looking for that specific information that brought them to your site in the first place so providing specific links or call to action gets them going right away.
2. Limit the amount of animations on your home page. Various usability studies show that animations such as banner rotations, animations and the likes, distract site visitors but this is still used in many business sites today. Such design techniques are usually driven by marketing managers even though the web developer knows this does more harm than good in increasing the site effectiveness. It’s very important to know the difference between online and offline media. In offline marketing you are attempting to attract the attention of a potential customer. For example, if you are at a local park enjoying the weather and you notice an advertising poster, it must attract your attention significantly since your purpose of being in the park is not for the sake of looking at advertisements. By contrast, in online marketing, the site visitor has already chosen to go to a specific website with a specific goal in mind. They are looking for the information that brought them to your site in the first place. Be it your pricing information, contact information or even the products or services you are offering. You do not need to attract their attention as they are already there. Animations can be replaced with hooks or static images or even graphics with minimal text that tells the site visitor what they can expect when they click on them. This can be at the home page header and such hooks should target the specific audience. Each navigational page can contain a separate graphical image with text or hook that targets that specific audience of that page.
3. Not having a clear understanding of what the visitor can do on your page once they arrive there is also crucial. They are there for a reason (pricing information, contact info, products or services etc). It is imperative you use call to action words like call, apply, download, view now etc and then providing the actual links that accompany the action.
4. HOME page structure basics not included. By this we mean keeping your home page length to a minimum. Your most vital information should be at the top of the home page as most visitors don’t like to scroll. Missing links to support tools like site map are also critical. Most visitors prefer to search for what they are looking for so it is important to have search functionality on your website. Your company logo should also be placed in the top left corner of the home page and should never have an active link associated with it from the home page and only from other pages within the site. Always ensure that your navigation is consistent within the rest of the website.