Mistake 2: Too Much On The Home Page

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Before redesign, this site had over 40 buttons and links on the home page
Before redesign, this site had over 40 buttons and links on the home page

It’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting everything on the home page. You have a lot to offer your web site visitors, but it should be carefully presented.

Think of the problem this way, you’re in Vegas; adding one more neon sign to a storefront isn’t going to make you go in. So adding one more “must-have” on the home page when there are ten or twenty things to look at won’t help.

When a web page overwhelms the visitor with options, the visitor will look at nothing or just pick the first thing that might be what they want. Rather than have visitors leave your site or guess which product/service they need, you should focus your message and present a few (3 or 4) options from which to choose.

How do I know if you have too much on the page?
Excellent question; glad you asked. Use the squint test. To do this, simply squint your eyes until everything is blurry. Now look at your web page. What are the items that immediately standout? What should standout, but doesn’t? Revise what/how things are presented so that when you squint the most important items are immediately noticeable.

How many top-level menu buttons/links should I have?
In general, less is more, and we normally recommend no more than nine. FYI, studies show that, on average, people click no more than three menu items on a site regardless of how many choices. For sites that require many options, a site search is more effective than offering dozens of buttons or links.

What if I need to feature multiple sale items on a home page?
We can set up an area on the page that will present the items one-at-a-time (much like a slide show), and give users an option to go back to any item.

Written by Scott de Fasselle

July 12th, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Posted in Web Tips

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