Make It More Usable
The goal of a website is to make it usable. The word “usable” is obviously relating to the user and their experience.
So how do you make your homepage usable? For starters, you make it simpler. As mentioned in part one, usability and simplicity are correlated. Simpler websites are more effective, and effective websites work better. However, simply saying “make your homepage effective” isn’t all that tactical. Here are some actual ways that you can shape an effective homepage.
- Know Your Goal
For a website to be usable, you must know what you want to achieve. Users are going to use it, but what are they going to do? “Well, read it” you may say, however that’s not really sufficient. You need to pick one thing that you want your users to do, and make that the primary objective of your website. Doing this is the key of effective homepage design. Know your goal, and go for it.
- Consider Your Users Intent
Don’t forget about your users! Consider the people who will actually be experiencing the homepage. What are they looking for? What do they want to accomplish? Why did they visit? Answering these questions is integral to the design process, and a key part of achieving a successful small business website.
- Reduce Choice
Once again, Less is More. Too much choice kills effectiveness. If you’ve ever stood staring at a shopping aisle full of sliced bread, you know exactly what I mean. Its just baked flour and water :) More choice is not necessarily better. Now consider a busy website homepage that is littered with Choice. Header menus, drop down menus, CTA (calls to action), social icons, and other necessary elements. The user must choose to look at one at a time, since it is impossible to focus on everything. Strip away everything that is a potentially distracting choice, and you are left with an effective website.
David — OURDESK — Strategic IT & Website Packages for Small Business