The front page of your website is the most vital part of your website. As the old saying goes “Don’t judge a book by its covers”, though the statement is not entirely invalid ( a website with really good content might have some really boring covers), unfortunately is majorly applicable in today’s websites.
So what exactly are the parameters that goes behind in creating and designing a good front page?
and the rest of the body. The face is the section that just fits the browser. While an interested user will mostly scroll through the entire front page but a typical average user just sees the face of your front page and makes a decision to continue browsing or not. A good website designer will cater to both types of users but a smart website designer will invest most of his ideas into the face.
Before we get into the process of web design, lets look into the process that goes in the design of a website. Again, we will not discuss the technical aspects of web programming languages, databases and all, but focus more on the output.
– A content management system (such as WordPress, Drupal ) is selected and all the necessary fields are loaded
– The most typical sections are filled – About Us, Contact Information, Company Policy, Terms and Conditions, Social Media Link etc
– An appropriate theme is chosen and the website is loaded
Now, comes the important part. How to sell the website? How to make it attractive so that users can feel the “Hook” ? It is important to keep an estimate of the average time a user takes to develop further interest into your website, which is just about 10-15 seconds. Think of it as a range of shops in a shopping mall with all unknown brands. Which shop are you most likely to enter – Of course, the one with the most beautiful outer display right? While the components that make up the interior will be similar – Cash counter, trial room, different section etc. but the display that is seen from outside will determine whether you are welcoming customers or not.
A website is no different in that case.
The face of your website should be able to :
1. Attract customers with your main product or service ( you can’t be adding a picture of diamonds if you cater to the shoe business). It is key to keep in mind that fake impression is acceptable but false impression is not.
2. Leave an imprint of your main products and services within 10-15 seconds. Visual perception is the key here. Even if a user is not interested , due to the visual processing power of the brain, attractive images and fonts
are able to leave an imprint by default.
So, if your website can’t leave a default impression it is time to rethink the design.
3. Division of the face – Most users further divide the face into 2-3 sections. This mostly depends. Some even have a single word or image in the front page which takes a user to the next page. But the question to answer here is – Have I delivered the USP of my business through the face, or do I need supplemental information to substantiate the fact. Depending on that, further information can be added.
4. Have a headline – Think of the headline as the speaker for the particular section. Too wordy headline isn’t advisable and neither is a headline of very few words. The headline should be treated as the subject line of an e-mail. It should give the idea of what lies below.
5. Have a sub-heading – The sub-heading should offer a brief description of what you offer.
6. Create an emotional connection – The people who are browsing through your websites are typically looking for something. It is up to you whether you present it in a cold manner, or you try to connect with the and offer your services as well. The likelihood of customers returning to you is more, if you are able to establish an emotional connection.
7. Always seek an external opinion – Typically the website creators will not be able to see the flaws in the webpage. Therefore it becomes essential to seek external opinion, either online or offline before delivering the content.
If you follow a small principle of process here, it can highly maximize the quality of your output. The Principle is the Cycle of Think. Create. Review. Edit. Publish.
The Review and Edit is a iterative process and often the quality of the product is a result of the time spent on reviewing and editing.
It is also important to analyze your work after successfully creating a front page. A few questions mentioned below can help you analyze your efforts better:
1. Will you be able to justify every aspect on the home screen?
You should be able to justify the presence of every element on the face of the website. If it doesn’t make sense, or if the website is manageable even without its presence, then it should be taken off right away.
2. A user typically spends 10-15 secs on a website. What is a users take away after spending 15 secs?
If your website is not able to leave a visual perception just after 10 seconds, it has then probably failed its purpose.
3. If you have 10 sliders – Why? Will all the sliders be seen in 10-15 secs?
So sliders should slide and highlight within that time.
And sliders should support the content of the blocks below it.
4. Think of your website as a job applicant and the website as a resume. A recruiter (Client) will look for only one candidate (company) to do the project and it can only select through the website (Assuming no references). What are the chances of you (website) being selected from 50 (A very less number) other candidates (companies).
The better you analyze the outcome, the more oriented your design creation process will be.
I hope this blog gives you a motivation to visualize and then create the page of your website.
HAPPY DESIGNING !!