Home pages the minute minitour

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Multipurpose Our focus in this chapter

Multipurpose Our focus in this chapter

Pathway page: scan, select, and move on

Pathway page: scan, select, and move on

Navigation

Information page: scan and get information

Information page: scan and get information

Destination

Most people read very little on the home page. They want to grab the information they need and move on because what they need from the site is almost always beyond the home page. Home pages can be content-rich, but they must not be wordy.

In the rest of this chapter, we'll discuss five major functions of home pages:

• identifying the site, establishing the brand

• setting the tone and personality of the site

• helping people get a sense of what the site is all about

• letting people start key tasks immediately

• sending each person on the right way, effectively and efficiently

We'll see how to accomplish all that without asking people to read much.

We'll end the chapter with a brief case study of revising the home page of a portal site, as well as a short section on how important it is to plan

Many of your site visitors may be bypassing your home page and pathway pages by coming to specific information pages in your site through a search engine like Google.

Nonetheless, you must still set up your site for those who do start at your home page - or who get to your home page after looking at the information page the search engine sent them to.

For an analysis of many home pages, see Nielsen and Tahir, Homepage Usability, 50 Websites Deconstructed, 2001.

your site from your information topics up to the home page - not only from the home page down to the information topics.

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