Home Page Design – Good vs Bad

The home page is your visitors first impression of your website.  Your home page should be simple, clean and easy to navigate. Layout, content and page design play a key role in making a successful homepage.
My class blog assignment this week is to critique 4 homepage designs. The first two are examples of good home page design and the last two are examples of (to put it kindly) not so good homepage designs.

Good Home Page Designs:

Example 1: Eight Hour Day

Good home page design

Eight Hour Day

A great example of a clean, well-organized homepage. The site is easy to navigate and has an attractive well-developed design layout. The site makes great use of color and uses high quality graphics that don’t take too long to load. A first time visitor can easily understand the purpose of the site.


Example 2: CSS Dude

CSS Dude

Another great example of a good home page design. The site design is strong and makes good use of space. The navigation is simple and easy to find. The colors are inviting and the images are high quality but don’t take too long to load. The information is well-organized and easy for first time visitors to understand quickly.

Not So Good Home Page Designs:

Example 1: Maison Martin Margiela

Maison Martin Margiela

It’s never a good sign if the web page you are visiting comes with a warning that states “the page you are visiting is not under construction”! I am still not sure what this website is about. I think they are selling clothing, but I’m not 100% sure. To say that the navigation is a bit confusing is an understatement. The lack of color and design gives the site an unfinished, technical and bleak feel. The images are random and don’t give the visitor any insight into what the purpose of the site is.

Example 1: Oceanside California

Oceanside CA

Another example of a poorly designed homepage. The navigation is just about non-existent on this home page and it’s unclear to the visitor what the purpose of the site is. The graphics are low quality and the colors are dull and uninviting. The links are unorganized and confusing.

Some final thoughts to keep in mind when designing a homepage:

  1. Keep it simple, clean and well-organized. A good homepage should not have too much information cluttered together; making it difficult to read and know what is happening. You do not want to confuse visitors the moment they enter your homepage with too much information.
  2. Good page layout is also an important factor for a good visitor experience. Be mindful of using too many high quality graphics or flash images that take a long time to load. A beautiful homepage is ineffective if it that takes forever to load, especially for those with slower internet connections and can turn visitors away.
  3. Information should be well-organized into easy to read layout, making it easier for visitors to quickly find what they are looking for. Content should be kept short and presented in a pleasant manner that is attractive.
  4. Navigation should be easy for any visitor, they should be able to know where to look for what they want with just a simple glance. Common links to pages within your website such as “About Us”, “Contact Us” & “Help”,  should be placed in such a manner and position that is easy to locate.

Additional Resources:

Top Ten Guidelines for Homepage Usability


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