A badly designed website can do your business more harm than good. There is a lot of difference between merely existing and standing out. It would be wrong to imply that a bad website does not draw users, it sure does. But the fact is that a poorly designed website dents the brand value and the overall reputation of your business. Impatient Internet users hardly like to stick around on a badly designed website for more than a few seconds, so why not put in some effort and make amends to your site to make it look and feel great.
There are many aspects to a web design, but the homepage design fairs as the most important aspect of them all. Being the main page of any website, a homepage design should be given undivided attention and focus. The learning process never ends, and each day you spend browsing through other people’s homepages shall tell you something or the other, your own home page might be missing.
www.Whitehouse.gov is a fine example of a great homepage which is updated regularly, since it represents an entire nation called the United States of America. It is informative, yet neat. Finding content which you want is easy to locate on it.
The homepage can be easily identified as the central page which gets the most attention and user traffic. For a business, a homepage may be defined as a virtual online receptionist who does not eat, does not sleep and neither demands a salary at the end of the month, but works continuously to contribute to achieve more and more user traffic. A homepage is the place where users seek all answers about your business, offcourse the FAQ page is there, but who bothers if an informative homepage meets the purpose.
The homepage design can be broadly categorized into 3 aspects which are
- The Design Concept it employs
- The Content it has
- The Technology it uses
The central focus of attention of this article shall be on the design concepts of a homepage and the necessary approach to achieve a remarkable homepage design.
What should an ideal homepage look to achieve?
- Should be able to attract maximum user traffic.
- Should be able to achieve a high conversion rate of visitors into customers.
- Should be able to encourage visitors to visit again and again and become permanent customers.
- Should be able to address to all visitor queries.
Not let’s point out a few things you need to do to design an outstanding home page
1. Introduce your business properly
This is the first thing that a good homepage should be able to do on a priority. That’s precisely the basic point of creating a website and its homepage. If you are a well established brand like McDonalds, then you need not say much. The logo pasted on your homepage will do it for you without saying anything, but otherwise you need to introduce your business to visitors elaborately. The visitors to your homepage should know who you are? What you do? What can a visitor do on your site? These are some basic questions which your homepage should be able to answer to a first time visitor. If your homepage is not able to tell the user what he is doing on your site within a few seconds, he will surely click the back button and I can bet all my money on that.
2. Start with the Header & Logo
The header is the first part of your homepage which users first tend to notice and appreciate, if well designed. This is the top most area of your homepage which displays your business name, your logo and the tagline, if you have one.
For tips on designing great headers for your homepage refer to the article Read here
Including eye-catching pictures and graphics in the header enhances the visual appeal of your homepage. If you are using a CMS like WordPress for making your homepage then choose an appropriate theme which is able to display your header in a unique manner to catch user attention. The Hemingway Rewritten WordPress theme is a fine example in this case. Not only does it display your title appropriately, but is also designed in the much popular and trending parallax design concept which provides a dynamic element to your homepage.
Logo design is equally important, as a logo is your brand image. A brand is easily associated with its visual image. People might forget your name after sometime, but if your logo is impressive then they will tend to remember it for a long time. A few things to be kept in mind for designing a good logo are
- It should be simple, not complicated.
- It should be memorable.
- It should remain relevant irrespective of time.
- It should be versatile.
- It should be appropriate to your line of business.
For more logo design tips and ideas read the article 7 Killer tips for logo design
3. Choosing the right design concept
Web design concepts keep changing with each passing year. First it was the flat design concept and now it is the material design concept which is dominating web designs. Both these concepts are innovations of Google. A refreshing change has come with the arrival of the parallax design concept, which has introduced dynamic elements in web designs. By scrolling up and down, elements on a page can move. Read all about the Parallax design concept over here.
I am a huge fan of the Parallax design concept, but I must admit that many aren’t. I have come across a lot of websites lately which have been created using the Parallax concept, but the finest example that I came across was the site spaceneedle
This website by far surpasses all the sites designed with the Parallax concept that I have come across. A design concept should be chosen according to the line of business, but surprisingly many businesses like Insurance and Banking are also beginning to opt for the parallax concept to make their otherwise boring sites interesting for users.
4. Homepage image
A website is a visual medium of communicating with users. An appropriate image can easily put across your message to the users without the need of saying much.
Always remember to choose your image according to your line of business. It should clearly indicate towards the product and service you are promoting. It also a notable fact that an images is absorbed more quickly by the human brain in comparison to text and stays in the users memory for a longer period of time. Images score way above videos as they do not require streaming and high download times in comparison. If you find it difficult to find a decent image then you create it with the help of graphics tool like the Adobe Photoshop. Always avoid lifting copyright images to stay out of legal trouble.
5. Typography of the homepage
If a user is unable to read what you have written on your homepage then he is most likely to visit it again. The typography of your website is what decided whether your text is readable or not. A good typography is ensured by the selecting by the right font. An appropriate font also ensures a certain amount of uniformity on the homepage. However the fonts to use on the homepage should be limited to 2 or 3 at the maximum, or the website will look strange with 25 different types of font on the same page. Headings and sub-headings should be well highlighted. Another important point to consider is that all relevant and important information of the homepage should be placed above the fold of the page, as it is the first glimpse of the site which a user gets.
6. Use of Colour on the homepage
Along with the typography, colour also plays its part in enhancing the visual appeal of the homepage. Colour helps in highlighting the text and ensures proper readability. Contrasting colour should be chosen to match with the colour of text. Light colour text should be placed over a darker background colour and vice-versa.
In conclusion, a well made homepage can create a decent brand image, whereas a poorly designed one can have a negative effect. So be sensible, be smart and design your homepage with subtlety and sophistication. A sense of urgency in designing a homepage must be avoided, as good work always takes time and haste might spoil all the hard work.
Thank you for reading my post. I regularly write about web designing, information technology as well as the latest trends that are relevant to webdevelopment. If you would like to read my regular posts then please follow on G+ and feel free to connect via Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.
Here are some other recent posts I have written: