For better or worse, we live an a world of short attention spans. When it comes to websites, particularly homepages, attention spans gets even shorter. Once landing on your homepage a visitor will decide in 5 seconds or less whether he wants to continue to explore your site or leave and go somewhere else. That’s why it’s so important for your homepage to be engaging. Generally speaking a good homepage should be uncluttered and easy on the eyes. Since a picture is worth a thousand words I submit the following three homepages for your consideration:
What makes this site ugly? The site title – Sixties Press – is on a dark graphical background and is difficult to read. The navigation links are all different text colors and are on different colored backgrounds. Why? This homepage makes me want to run away screaming. I was around in the sixties. This site would have been ugly then too.
This homepage is a Monty Python parody right? Well, no it isn’t. It’s a for real website. Where do I go? What do I do? How do I find what I’m looking for? Be warned! Staring at this homepage may cause seizures. I don’t know what else to say.
Disclaimer: I use MailChimp as my Email Newsletter hosting service of choice. I am not, however, on their payroll. I have chosen MailChimp as an example of a good (good is an understatement) homepage because it’s everything a successful homepage should be.
So what makes *MailChimp’s homepage so good? The way it answers the following questions:
Q. What does this company do?
A. Easy Email Newsletters
Q. What can I do here?
A. Sign up for free
Q. What kind of place is this?
A. A fun, friendly place
Put another way, MailChimp’s homepage is clear, focused and easy to digest quickly. Compare it to the first two examples and you’ll see what I mean.
And Now Back to You
When you see a homepage for the first time, what do you look for? What makes you stay and what makes you leave? What are some of your homepage pet peeves? Talk to me.