5 Homepage Usability Guidelines to Follow

Over the past few years, users have gotten used to certain standards in web design because of the homepage usability they experience. In order to make a long lasting impression on your visitors, you need to build a homepage that goes beyond those of plain usable website. When your homepage is highly readable, your visitors will be able to quickly digest the information you share with them thus increasing the likelihood of them visiting your website again.

Every year, many organization and individuals spend a lot of money to build their homepage because the homepage is the company’s face to the world. Nowadays, many potential clients will first look at the company’s online presence before doing any business with them. The homepage is the most important page on most website and it is the pages that gets more views than any other page.

One of the first thing that users usually do when they visit a new site is to go to the homepage. If the homepage does not meet the user’s expectations, then the user may decide to look for another site that has a homepage that meets his/her standards. Enhancing your company’s homepage usability is therefore very important if you want to maintain and even attract more clients. In this article, we are going to give you 5 homepage usability guidelines to help increase users satisfaction.

5 Homepage Usability Guidelines to Follow

1. Make the sites purpose clear

This not only refers to the homepage but any landing page in your website. You must ensure that users have clear understanding of where they are and what they can expect from the site .The best way to achieve this is by having a comprehensive logo and tagline. When you start your homepage with a tagline that clearly summarizes what the website does especially if the website is new, you will create a good impression to the visitor. The same thing also applies to well-known or established companies which hopes to attract new clients. Also ensure that you group all corporate information in one district area. You can even go further and take advantage of some background videos or high quality visual to help reinforce what the website is all about.

2. Gently guide the user through the website

The homepage of your site must be able to guide the user through the website. There are two main goals behind homepage usability. They include: to save users time by making everything on the website easy clear and accessible and to increase the satisfaction from the website experience and prevent any negative responses. It is therefore very important to put clear guidelines on the homepage to help the user find what he/she is looking for from the site easily with as little effort as possible.

Try as much as possible to be clear with your wording and labels and avoid using ambiguous words that don’t make sense. Ensure that the homepage has easy navigation and good information architecture to enhance good usability. If you have plenty of information on your website, then it is very important to include a search input box on top of the homepage to make it easy for users to access information. Make sure that the search box is at least 25 characters wide so that is can be able to accommodate more words without obstructing parts of the user query. Also make sure that you emphasize your sites top priority tasks on the homepage.

3. Keep content as concise as possible

It is pretty well known that web users have very short attention when it comes reading articles. In fact, a study that investigated the reading habits of individuals concluded that may people tend to skim pages to find the information that they are looking for. Most users only search for keywords and read article in a non- linear fashion. The study also found out that 58% increase in homepage usability can be achieved by simply keeping the content on your website as concise as possible. Shorter articles enhance readability so much and most users like visiting sites that are straight forward and clear. Therefore, if you want to increase your website usability, make sure that you avoid long paragraphs and sentences, cut any unnecessary information, get to the point as quickly as possible and use easy to understand words and phrases.

4. Credibility

Your websites homepage is the face of your company. Credibility is therefore very important. Even if people find the content that they are looking for, if they don’t trust you then that content will be worthless. Your website homepage can cause site visitors to be skeptical about your business in a number of ways. It is therefore very important to build credibility of your site by providing a clear about us page and clearly stating your company contacts and address if possible. Make sure that you are honest about your content. Avoid putting incorrect information, misspelling or incorrect grammar. In addition, if you are an expert in your field, don’t be modest about it, let people know your profession. To enhance your homepage usability, you must ensure that your homepage is credible by putting information that is reliable.

5. Relevancy

Last but not least, you need to ensure that the homepage of your site is relevant. It is not enough to only put information that is clear, precise, you must also ensure that your content is relevant. When users visit your website, they want to find information that is current and relevant. To achieve this, you must ensure that you clearly define whom your users are and talk to them to find out they are look for when they visit your site. Ensure that you constantly update your homepage by putting information that is relevant, easy to read, clear and precise. A recent study showed that users like visiting sites that offer relevant information that can useful to them.

You must ensure that users can navigate through it and read information that it contains easily. Following the above guidelines can really help to enhance your homepage usability and attract more visitors to your site.

Jessica Miller
Jessica is the Lead Author & Editor of UsabilityLab Blog. Jessica writes for the UsabilityLab blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to usability.
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