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A Strong Homepage Design Dissected

Posted By Brendan Regan On March 17, 2009 @ 4:36 pm In Improving Conversion,Persuasive Design,Web Design,website redesign | 31 Comments

You could say I look at homepages for a living.  Not really, but they’re one of the pages I analyze and optimize for a living.  I saw one I enjoyed the other day [1], so I’ll talk about the design, what I like about it, and make a few suggestions for improvement.

One of the first things I noticed (and liked) was that the homepage was quite tall.  Many designers seem averse to tall homepage designs, thinking that everything simply has to be above the fold.  The fact is, visitors will definitely scroll if the content is engaging and answering their questions.

For the sake of dissection, I’m breaking it into top section, middle section, and bottom section, so click on a

Top Section of Silverback site [2]

thumbnail to see each section a bit bigger.

Top Section  – Things We Like to See

  1. The correlation between the parent company and the product brand is clear but unobtrusive.  A simple link takes you to the parent company, and the word “presents” above the brand sets up the understanding of the parent/child relationship.
  2. Unique Value Proposition [3] is prominent and below the logo
  3. Key benefits are bulleted for fast-moving personas.
  4. Primary and secondary calls to action [4] are clear, prominent, and the primary button is above the fold.
  5. Bonus: this is of no real value, but re-size the browser’s width and you’ll see the top of the design do cool stuff!

Middle Section – Things We Like to See
Middle Section of Silverback site [5]

  1. Uses graphics to illustrate a process/concept.  Not everyone loves to read; some visitors love diagrams.
  2. Expands on the core concepts with brief paragraphs and uses bolding.
  3. Provides a screenshot of the application, so visitors can get a sense of its intuitive or “magical” interface.

Bottom Section Things We Like to See

Bottom Section of Silverback site [6]

  1. Use of video demo.  Not everyone loves to read or look at diagrams; some visitors love video.
  2. Deeper level of detail about system requirements, pricing, etc.
  3. They support a cause.  This isn’t just a cute gorilla-themed design; they are using a portion of profits to support a cause they care about.

Suggestions for Improvement

I’m obviously a fan of this design, so I’ll offer the site owners a few optimization concepts.

  • Test.  If you’re not already testing your homepage, you’re missing out.
  • You have well written copy, but linking key phrases can drive traffic into the site to get their questions answered and convert.
  • Your “save the gorillas” angle is too easily-missed.
  • The diagram in the middle section could be interactive.
  • Calls to action only at the top of the page.  I’d repeat them lower on the page, even if they were just links in body text.

Now, who else wants some dissection and optimization [7]?

Article printed from Conversion Rate Optimization & Marketing Blog | FutureNow: http://www.grokdotcom.com

URL to article: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2009/03/17/a-strong-homepage-design-dissected/

URLs in this post:

[1] one I enjoyed the other day: http://silverbackapp.com/

[2] Image: http://www.grokdotcom.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/silverbacktop.jpg

[3] Unique Value Proposition: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2008/12/05/the-value-of-a-unique-value-proposition/

[4] calls to action: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2008/12/19/calling-you-to-action/

[5] Image: http://www.grokdotcom.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/silverbackmiddle.jpg

[6] Image: http://www.grokdotcom.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/silverbackbottom.jpg

[7] dissection and optimization: http://futurenowinc.com/ontarget_ready.htm

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