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Smashing UX Design: Foundations for Designing Online User Experiences by Jesmond Allen, James Chudley

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Chapter 20: Homepage UX Deconstructed

Homepages act as signposts for the rest of the digital product. They should—among other things—convey the proposition of the product to the users as well as route the users through to useful content and functionality.

Homepages are often poorly designed. This is sometimes due to them being overdesigned, which means they are seen as so important to the success of the product that they are overloaded with content and functionality. In reality, many users never see product homepages, because they often arrive at other key pages such as product pages direct from sources such as search and links in social media.

This chapter identifies the key user and business goals that a homepage should address, together with some common mistakes when designing them. It also lists some top tips for you to refer to. Use this chapter as a checklist the next time you need to design a killer homepage.

Key user tasks and questions

Users will arrive on a homepage for lots of different reasons, depending on the context of their visit. The homepage you are working on will have its own unique user tasks to support so use this list to make sure you’ve considered these generic common homepage user tasks.

I know what I’m looking for; do you provide it?

Navigation categories, featured products, and proposition messaging will all help to address this question as well as a search function.

I’m a returning customer, help!

Returning customers may be looking for login details ...

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