I believe that the best web experiences are ones that give the user a role and the web space a role, and throughout your homepage experience, those roles are upheld. Therefore, the biggest question that your homepage needs to answer is, “who exactly does this website represent and why am I looking at them?”
No matter what kind of service you provide or whether you’re a big company or a small company, a successful homepage must have, at the very least, the three following components:
Your content needs to be structured so clearly that no one can get lost. Great UX design needs to be the building block of the site. Remember design is not art—design is function and form. Without content to give form and function to a homepage, it cannot shape up in the way it needs to.
Structure is where the visual aspect of your content takes place. You want to clearly inform your user that you’re offering a service or a fix to their problem and highlight why your service or fix is better than your competitors (fast, friendly, helpful, awesome, cheaper than others, more valuable than others, etc.).
Structure of the information is key. You need to be able to highlight the most compelling benefit statements and say “This piece is good enough for a full stretch above the fold style design.”
Don’t forget to have a voice! Give your website visitors a reason to act or give them a reason to, at the very least, remember who you are and what you do. Let them know why you do it, and why you’re good at doing it.
To do this, you’ll need clear call to actions that are not buried in content or “features that get rankings.” The best call to actions blend:
White space that lets people clearly understand what the CTA will let them do
Examples of Good Great Homepages
This homepage is awesome because it tells you exactly what the website does with simple GIF images and CLEAR call to actions. The “Try it now” button is the first thing you see, and with the company’s even better 15 day free, no commitment trial of their software, the design looks even better.
As you scroll down, the homepage really starts to tell you a story about how the service works and what the web typography does for you. If you scroll through the entire page it becomes clear exactly what this company does and how they do it.
With their homepage design, Typecast gives you a problem, presents you with their very fine-tuned fix to the problem, and talks to you in a sense that you can understand. Content, structure, voice <— the three building blocks of great homepage design all present.
Island Waste & Recycling
This page is a good homepage because it presents you with a role of their brand. It also presents you with credibility for their services, which is super helpful with this kind of business.
In addition, the page has a clear voice and vision of the company. The design of the homepage holds enough content for the user to have a global understanding of their services and how they accomplish them.
There is a friendly voice along with the icons that lead you visually through a seemingly mundane practice, but gives it life and helps users to trust and understand them.
Their phone number is clear and concise, as a CTA, and so are all the CTAs leading down the page.
First of all, I LOVE PayPal’s brand, business model, history – ugh, they’re just not a bad company. They get it. And it’s sad that most people don’t even visit their homepage because they just know the logo and brand from different payment methods online, but they’ve done such a good job lately of communicating to new and skeptical users, which is a lot of what we do here at Blue Corona.
Their homepage gets it. They tell you what they offer and through their video features and clean typographic voice on the homepage, they tell you how they’re going to make your life easier. They just underwent this design re-vamp really playing up the full stretch images, but it really works with their business.
PayPal is a very user driven, so their scenarios are SUPER specific to each person that interacts with their technology. These large horizontal stretch areas give a great voice to these scenarios, and take the whole picture idea and individualize it for people. This is an example of taking content and giving it great structure.
And where would we be without their awesome voice? PayPal is so friendly in their tone throughout the homepage. They give you a reason to celebrate paying easily and securely. They don’t bog you down with security specifics or how they cross connect with a thousand different platforms. They instill trust by making you pay attention to how you’re going to pay with PayPal (securely and wherever). Also, their last section with the “money matters” statement and the CTA? SO. GOOD.
Great organization is so apparent here. Someone had to fight CEOs and CFOs VERY hard to get that navigation down to only four points. But it’s SO simple. It’s what they do, and depending on what you do, you can easily find what you want. They’re giving themselves a roll, but also expecting you to uphold your role as well.
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About The Author: Lexie serves as Blue Corona's Content Marketing Manager. She's also the author of our soon-to-be famous, and someday to be written white paper, "Horse Hat SEO: Giddy-Up Your Google Rankings."
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