5 Things to understand before designing Homepage for your start-up website.

Suhaas Kaul
Apr 29, 2014 · 4 min read

Homepage of any start-up, any business creates the first impression on the visitor. First impression is not the most important thing but definitely one of the most important things especially for start-ups in particular, who often only get one chance at making a first impression, and so need to be sure they make a good one.

Everyone wants the homepage of their site to be remarkable, memorable and to stick in the visitor’s mind. So here are some points you should always keep in mind if you want to have a perfect landing page for your start-up

  1. What’s your homepage’s purpose ?

Every page has a purpose. What is your homepage’s purpose? to set people on a journey of awesomeness, to wow them, where they just slide through and reach the destination, or get what they were looking for, or at times may be get an unexpected Reward.

The idea is to make the workflow as intuitive and as simple as possible with minimum cognitive barriers, where a user clearly gets what you are doing and follows one call to actions that is there on the page.

Like, google homepage purpose is to make people search, so it just has one search field .The homepage of google is minimal and it does the work for them. Its simple and meets the purpose, drives what they want the user to do i.e search.

2. What do you want user to do ?

You must want the user to do something when it reaches your website. Zero-in on one or at max two such things. These are called “call to actions” and every home page should have one or at max 2 call to actions.

Do not give users too many options, that confuses the user and a slight roughness in the experience, or confusion in the visitors mind will directly result in bounced traffic.

3. Are you conveying your Idea ?

I have seen websites having homepages with lots of data. Writing down all the features, telling the visitor how good and awesome our product is. It is just like meeting that obnoxious person at the party for the first time, who cannot get enough of herself, who keeps boasting about herself, her accomplishments, and its all about her . You are somehow repelled with such kind of personality. Aren't you ?

Try to convey the idea in one line and keep a simple call to actions which doesn't let the user think, rather makes him/her do what you want him to do, example: click button to redirect to some other page or do signup etc.

The moment you start mentioning “whats” and “Hows” about your product, features, the more they will question everything and in their mind they already aren't feeling positive about the product, and they will rationalize their exit from your site even if they see one extra field in your form.

However, if you tell them your idea with a beautifully designed homepage, not putting an extra effort to sell, user will go with the flow and do what you want them to do.

By keeping it simple with a brand message and ‘cool’ image you can entice people to click to the next page to sign up without badgering them or immersing them in information.

Whatever I am saying is not my opinion or psychological phenomenon. This is biological and this is what that drives human behavior which I will explain that in another article.

For now, just understand one thing, Don’t bombard the user who’s coming to your site for the first time with unnecessary information, features and technology. Rather, sell your dream, sell your vision, your Idea.

Features and technology you can put in a separate page. If user is interested to read he/she can read over there.

4. Beautiful is not always effective.

What is an effective page ?

Which serves the purpose, does the work that it is supposed to do, or rather make the visitor do, what we want him to do.

It can be a Sign Up(User Acquisition) for some sites, Search for some or Simply exploring the product for some sites.

You might want to create the Homepage with lots of movements, things floating here and there, All that might look amazing and beautiful, but to check the effectiveness of the page we should definitely rely on results.

If a beautifully designed page is not helping people convert, it is good for nothing and you should definitely tweaking the page and A/B test it to achieve best conversions.

You will be surprised that the pages that drive the most conversions are not the ones which appear most beautiful to eyes. So don’t go by your whims and fancies, on which one is a better designed page. Check the data, bounce rates, conversions, signups etc. Let the data decide the best homepage design.

5. Age old formula, KISS

Keep it simple, stupid. Don’t show flashy stuff on the homepage. That will just repel the visitor.

Build an elegant, professional and clean design to help show off a certain brand personality, or a bright, colorful and creative homepage to help grab the visitor’s attention.Whatever you do, you should know the reason for choosing that particular style.

Just follow all these, you would definitely see a great reduction in the bounced traffic which is one of the major issues start-ups are facing.

And there is no homepage that is perfect, so keep tweaking things here and there, Keep A/B testing it until you find the perfect page for your start-up website☺

To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often. — Winston Churchill

    Suhaas Kaul

    Written by

    Heading Product and Design at TravelTriangle. Previously lead mobile products at UrbanLadder & founded plovist, a platform for visual artists and art lovers.