Do you KNOW what today is? It’s the most special of days in Weekly Slice history: our one-year anniversary! That’s right, as of today you have 52 weeks of social media savvy, gif-tastic, witty (or at least we try) advice in your inbox.
And on this wonderful day, we have a gift for you! You see that glorious reaction of our favorite Andy Dwyer (we might like Parks and Rec a little, if you can’t tell)? We want you to be channeling that every time you pull up your company’s homepage. Because a good homepage is the beautiful wrapping on the present that is your website, and you want your reader intrigued enough to open it. (We know, we’re playing this birthday theme pretty hard.)
So put on your UX hat (review the basics here and user personas here) and pull up your homepage because we’re about to make your homepage worth celebrating.
8 UX Questions for an Awesomesauce Homepage
1. Who are you?
This may seem simple, but when someone first pulls up your website, can they figure out who you are and what you do? Is there a tagline at the top or text on your banner which clearly and immediately establishes your company without the user having to search for it? If all that your user sees is a cool logo and random name, they might be left scratching their heads wondering what you actually do before they hit that back button, and poof, you’re gone from their minds.
2. What do I do next?
Okay, so your reader is looking at your homepage. It’s pretty, they’re intrigued (pat yourself on the back), so it’s time for you to take advantage of their interest and guide them to the next step. What’s your call to action on your homepage? Are you trying to get them to go to your services page? Buy your awesome product? Is there a clear button that will just immediately take them there? The fact that your user is interested enough to take the next step is amazing, but make sure your homepage takes them by the hand and guides them to where you want them to go next. If they have to spend too long searching, they’ll move on.
3. How do I find it?
Is your navigation menu accessible on your homepage and easy to use? Think about the last time you went to a website, were trying to find something specific, couldn’t, and just gave up. The struggle is real. You obviously don’t want your user to have the same experience on your website. An easy way to test this is to ask a friend to take a look at your homepage and ask them where they think they would find something specific, whether it’s your career page or your killer bio. If they aren’t able to choose the right click away from the homepage, it might be time to think about reorganization.
4. Are you the tortoise or the hare?
Look we love pretty graphics and gifs as much as the next firm, but is it hindering the speed of your homepage? Users want info and we want it fast! In the world of millions and millions of websites if one is taking forever to load well, it’s time to move onto the next. Make sure the resolution of the images you have aren’t affecting the load speed and any animations or videos you use are hosted elsewhere but embedded on your homepage. And remember, not every shiny new widget is the best choice for your website, because every single one you add on will increase the time it takes for your pages to load. So think about each element of your homepage as it relates to the user to make sure it’s adding to the experience, instead of just making it harder for them to see your stuff. This is one instance where slow and steady does not win the race, so sprint like that hare!
5. Are your eyes freaking out?
Are your users wondering what they should even focus on when it comes to your homepage? Is that sidebar competing with the gif, which is competing with the colors, and omg the text is too small to read? It might be time to do some cleaning, because the best homepage is a clean homepage. The cleaner and less cluttered the site, the lower the bounce rate. And the lower the bounce rate, the more people are sticking around to learn about you and your offerings.
6. Are you stuck in the past?
Take a quick scan of your homepage. Does your company seem alive? If you have a recent updates section, make sure you actually keep it updated. And if you’re linking to social media channels, make sure those channels don’t just offer a time machine trip to your company’s past. It takes one scan of you referencing your most recent successful event you had back in 2014 for your user to decide that you might no longer be relevant or even in business.
7. Is it mobile-friendly?
Take out that iPhone and pull up your website. Are you cringing? If so, you should start working on that mobile optimization, stat. Over 50% of web traffic is from mobile devices. Not having a mobile-friendly website not only results in probably quite a few phones tossed across the room in frustration, but also missed opportunities in terms of customers.
8. Are you able to take it to the next level?
So your user likes what they see and wants to take this budding relationship to the next level. Are they able to? Do you have your social profiles displayed, your email signup linked, or a contact form? Make sure to give your users options that work best for them (some might live and die by email, while others want to just scroll through Instagram) so they get to you better and keep coming back.