The home page of a website is different than any other page of the site, and it has specific needs it needs to fulfill.
- Answer the question, “What is this place?” – A must for new visitors, it’s your chance to make a good first impression and make it clear to your visitor what your site is about before they hit the back button.
- Don’t get in the repeat visitor’s way – They point out Flickr as a good example of providing a different home page for a user if they are logged in or not. What a simple and good idea that is in order to achieve the repeat user’s goals. Are your repeat users able to use your front page quickly?
- Show what’s new – New visitors won’t know or care what’s new, but repeat visitors don’t want to waste any time trying to find out.
- Provide consistent, reliable global navigation – This is a goal I agree with in general, but I must say I’ve seen some home pages that did have different navigation that wasn’t globally on the site that worked. And it worked through testing results with analytics as well. Which brings me to my own bonus goal to add on this article:
- Test Everything – Test your first site home page design, then change some things and keep testing. You’ll often be surprised at the results.