Designing the Front Page of Your Website
Are you ready to create a new website or update your current one? We can help! Your front page or homepage is a visual introduction to your brand and a way to help customers navigate your site and find what they need.
Your site design should make a strong first impression and encourage an intended action depending on your goals. There’s no one way to design your homepage; however, keep these tips in mind as you plan your site design.
Questions to guide your design plan
When creating your design plan, keep in mind that some visitors know what they want and some don’t. Design your homepage with both in mind and ensure your plans align with your primary goals. Here are some questions to help guide your design plan:
• How easy is it for customers to get to your homepage?
• Is your domain name consistent with your brand?
• What do you want your visitors to do once they land on your homepage? (for example, make a purchase, join your email list, take advantage of a running special, etc.)
• How simple is it for them to do this?
• In what ways can you simplify the process?
Visitors usually spend only a few seconds on your homepage. This means that you have to design your navigation flow in a way that makes it easy for visitors to find their path and take an intended action.
The area called “above the fold”
The area above the fold is what the visitors see when they land on your page before they decide to scroll. Here you should focus on what action you want your visitors to take and what information they need first. A captivating visual will keep new visitors on-site and familiarize them with the brand. Click here to view the website design for For Kids By Kids, an e-commerce site we designed.
A clear and simple navigation is a must as too many navigation options can feel cluttered and overwhelming, increasing the chances of visitors navigating away or taking the wrong path.
If you have lots of products, you can organize them in dropdown menus. Sub-navigation is a great way to organize your products and pages for easy exploration.
Use the footer menu to add links to other pages on your site, such as an about us page, contact us page, FAQs, policies, etc.
Whether you’re promoting a product or collection or trying to capture leads, the purpose of your visuals is to draw in the user’s attention immediately as they arrive on your website. A few ways to incorporate visuals into the above-the-fold section of your homepage are images with text overlay, slideshows or video.
A direct call to action
Your calls to action should direct customers to take steps that support the main goals of your homepage. The user should understand immediately where to click because your call to action button should stand out from the surrounding design. The longer it takes a user to find the call to action, the more likely they are to become confused or click away.
An easy-to-access shopping cart
If you have an ecommerce website, the shopping cart is an integral part of the homepage. Part of making navigation intuitive for your customers is ensuring their shopping cart is easy to find. Make it clear to customers when items are in their cart and how to access it.
A search bar (for large collections of products)
Many online stores include a search bar to help visitors who know exactly what they are looking for. If your brand is selling a lot of products, an easy-to-find search bar offers an alternative to complex navigation that’s likely to turn customers away.
Other homepage elements to consider
Elements that you feature below the fold often reinforce and expand on the information you’ve already introduced, provide other paths to the same conversion goal, and make other pages available to the customers who need them. Here’s a short list of elements you can include as part of your homepage design or your footer:
• Blogs, videos, and other content
• Social proof: Customer reviews, endorsements, and press
• Low priority and add-on products
• Lower priority pages
Keeping mobile homepage design in mind
Since a good portion of your traffic is likely to come from mobile sources, every decision you make about the design of your homepage should take mobile users into account. Keep in mind that images that look stunning on a wide desktop screen could be cut off or cropped in unusual ways on a mobile screen. Calls to action can be harder to find or moved in a way that makes it more likely for visitors to click away.
Improving your design over time
As already mentioned, there is no single best way to design your homepage. Factors like user demographics, branding, number of products, marketing channels, and more can influence your user’s behavior in a number of ways.
That’s why it’s so important to always view your homepage as a work in progress, using the traffic and sales you generate to measure the impact of your homepage and make adjustments over time.
This passage was inspired, copied, paraphrased, and shortened based on the article by Evan Ferguson found here.