We have all been taught that first impressions are important, but they are far more important than we could’ve ever imagined when it comes to websites. In a world where consumers have a short attention span and are perpetually exposed to an abundance of options, it is a must to stand out.
According to a few studies, it takes website visitors 50 milliseconds to form an opinion about your homepage. In other words, you have 1/10th of a second to convince them to stay. Most of the feedback from the participants was design related.
Website visitors paid attention to details such as the homepage layout, navigation aids, lively colours, pop-up ads, print size, oversaturated content, look and feel, and search capabilities.
So, what do you need to consider when designing a successful homepage?
1. UX / CX
First things first, you need to get familiar with UX and CX. The X stands for experience, while the C stands for the customer, and U stands for the user. These are essential elements in website design.
CX relates to a person’s overall experience with your brand, and UX is a part of CX. UX uses various metrics to calculate the success rate, including time to completion, rate of errors, number of clicks to completion, and so on.
Whether a user is on your website to make an order, window shop, look at the latest trends, or read a blog – they will most likely go through your homepage. This means that their navigation through the site needs to be seamless and intuitive.
Super complex designs and counterintuitive options may stand out, but ultimately, they worsen the user/customer experience.
We are exposed to relentless marketing and advertising efforts everywhere we look. Most of the time, we don’t even have an opportunity to process one ad before a new one is calling for our attention. This makes it extremely difficult for any brand to cut through the noise.
This is why brand recognition is absolutely crucial for your business. When people are able to recognize your brand, even without ever having bought your product, you have succeeded. Repeated exposure to the same thing often instils a sense of trust and familiarity in us.
Your homepage is one of the most important tools for cultivating a recognizable brand. Make sure that the colours align, the identity of the brand is clearly portrayed, and that people recognize the brand as soon as they see the homepage. However, remember that it’s not just about re-applying your brand’s palette. Factors like visibility, readability, and consistency are essential too.
Poor website speed is probably the fastest way to lose a client before they’ve even tried your product. In a world where a million brands are competing for the attention of the same target markets, it is unacceptable to have slow site speed.
This is something that we always blame on the developers, but it is not always their fault. The designers play a huge role in this aspect as well. And while fast loading time is always desirable, it is especially important for the homepage.
Designers ought to be careful not to overload the homepage with too many elements. Another critical tip is limiting the number of high-resolution images on the page. Sometimes this can hinder cool interactive design elements, but it’s a price one must pay.
A homepage isn’t just a pretty welcome mat for your website. It’s the place that evokes all consumer opinions and decisions. Homepages help to grow a customer base, cultivate your brand, engage users, promote products, enhance conversion, and serve as the foundation for your customers’ user experience.
All in all, a homepage needs to be fast, readable, and clear in its branding.