Homepage Usability

The 2 Roles Of A Homepage

2 role of the homepage is to communicate what the company is, the value the site offers over the competition and the physical world, and the products and services offered
Advice from 2001
-logo in a prominent position (upper left)
-tag line summarizing company does/site does/site
-emphasize the highest priority tasks
-make the homepage different from all other pages
-if you provide a feedback link specify who will read the message
-include an 'about us' (or about )
-use consistent langue for mandatory tasks 'enter a city'
-don't use click here for link names
-don't use generic links such as 'more ...' to qualify them
-never name category links -qualify what type of links
-don't include an active link to the homepage on the homepage-use icon only if they are extremely obvious/recognizable
-include an input box, allow 25 or 30 characters
-do not label the box just attack a search button
-don't include unrelated tasks to users (ex. link to weather on non-weather site)
-too many logos and they look like ads
-avoid long drop-down lists and use drop-down sparingly
-window holes: no more than 7/8 words
Homepage usability
-no more splash screens
-place ads for outside companies on the periphery of the pages-keep external ads are small and discreet
-use welcome only for recognizing a registered users
-uses relative font sizes not absolute sizes
-explain the benefits of registration
Common Navigation
-left navigation rail
-links across the top
-categorizes in the middle of the page (ex. Yahoo!)
Footer Navigation -not universal, not straightforward
-not standards for sign in
-must include about us -trust enhancing
-privacy policy-way to make users trust the site
-recommend the use of the word 'jobs' in name of the employment feature
-only include help if necessary. Place it upper - right
-medium font-size : 12pts (almost all sans-seif)
-underline links and use blue. Visited : Purple, light blue, or grey (lighter or less saturated colour)

Bibliographic Information

Homepage Usability
by Jakob Nielsen and Marie Tahir, ISBN 073571102X / 978-0735711020
2001, New Riders