Don’t overwhelm.

June 10, 2004

First impressions are important. You want to get your point across effectively without inundating the user with information. Websites with abundant content can be tricky to organize, but at least attempt to pull back on the reigns for one thing — the home page.

The home page should be crisp, clean and navigable. Expose your content without exposing ALL your content. Lead users to where they want to go, and also, lead them to where you want them to go.

Some quick live examples: overwhelmingnot overwhelming

Here are some ways to streamline the home page:

  • Simplify navigation items/links and allow users to drill down.
  • Consolidate similar content groups within portlets or modules.
  • Provide a text-based sitemap.
  • Avoid dancing baloney, i.e., scrolling tickers and animated graphics.
  • Provide a plainly visible suggestion box for lost sheep.

Basically, the point is for users to visit and revisit the site. Take them to where they want to go without overwhelming them at their first point of entry. An uncluttered home page is the best home page.