Jeff Bridgforth :: Webcraftsman

Crafting Web sites since 1999

I am a Front-end Developer passionate about creating elegant, inspiring, and usable Web experiences that connect with an audience and fulfill business objectives.

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Homepage the least important page on your site?

September 7, 2007

Last week, I was listening to a podcast from UIE on Homepage design. Jared Spool pointed out that the homepage is the least important page on your site. He believes the content page is the most important because that is what the user is looking for. I see his wisdom in this.

Jared also talked about how the homepage is usually the first page that gets designed because it is the easiest (and I think can be the most fun). Content pages and other pages that get you there are harder.

Users are not on your site to hang out on your homepage. They are there to get something, whether it is buying something, getting news, reading an article or connecting with a friend. The homepage and supporting pages (departments, galleries, etc.) are there to get users to what they want.

Given this, I have been re-thinking the design process and here are preliminary thoughts for the order of attention I give to design:

  1. Content pages
  2. Gallery pages
  3. Department pages
  4. Homepage

For an explanation of these type of navigation pages, see 8 Types of Navigation Pages by Jared Spool.

Of course the day I listened to this podcast, I was working on a new design for a site and I was starting with the homepage. After hearing this podcast, I think I need to put the homepage aside and start on the content pages and work my way up.

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