Beware Your Landing Page

I LOVE the codrops website for all the awesome snippets they do, but once in a while, they make a tiny little mistake.

A website’s landing page, especially one where it’s mostly informative instead of functional (ie. welcome to our site, this is what we do, go download our app, or read our blog) needs to make sure that all the controls and information are obviously present for the visitor.

This means there should be no question about how to get more information or to see the stuff that you want to see (features, compatibility, demos, testimonials, etc). As seen above from a demo page on codrops (go visit them if you haven’t, they’re a great learning site), the concept of a full page bleed landing site has become quite popular nowadays, but lots of care has to be taken to really, properly, inform the user that most of your content is below the fold. Without any visual indication, like the demo page from codrops, people can get stuck wondering “what do I do next”?

In the case of codrops above, they’re pretty much excused because of their absolutely awesome content and that this is just a quick demo page thrown together to showcase one of their nifty concepts. But I’ve seen this type of layout used all too many times from websites that should know better:

The only thing that indicates there’s more content is that pulsating carat at the bottom

Aurelia’s blog page, shown above, only has one tiny pulsating carat as an indicator that barely hints that the page is scrollable and that more content… much more content, is available right under the fold there. They took the path of creating a nice looking landing page and completely sacrificed usability for the end user. When people land on a blog, it’s okay to have the words right there and ready to be read, after all, that’s why they’re here.

It’s just a small usability issue that bugs me nowadays where there are form over function sacrifices being at the expense of UI/UX. It’s nice, yes, but you have to always keep in mind if your design is really serving the purpose for the end user, and this is a lesson that will apply to every aspect of design, not just these fancy landing pages.

Have you seen other landing page faux pas?