There are many intricate details which you need to take care of when you are designing a website. It is beyond doubt that the homepage needs special attention in terms of design. Usually, it is the first page that a user lands on and hence creates the first impression which largely influences the users to have an idea of the website. It is therefore of paramount importance that homepage design has no flaws and no bad design practices are implemented here. To be able to avoid such practices, you must be fully aware of these practices. Some of these practices are clichés that must be avoided to stand unique and progressive and few of them are elements which have been observed to be a big turn off for the users.
These practices have no place in the home page design and as the trends are changing, efforts must be made to keep yourself updated on the latest design trends and do not commit mistakes which may cost dearly to the website as well as the business. All your design efforts must be targeted towards creating better and innovative UX and any bad design practice can defeat the entire purpose and disappoint the users and prompting them to look for the better alternative.
Some of these web design practices have been discussed here so that the web designers can understand them clearly and avoid them as far as possible in the homepages of their websites.
Do not use the welcome screen to welcome the users:
It is a clichéd way of welcoming the users and every other website is doing the similar way. You must think of new ways to welcome the users. You can greet them with a message saying how delighted you are to have them. Another way of welcoming the guest is to offer them is by greeting them with a thought. Likewise, you may think of several such ways of welcoming your users. You can also put forward the usability of the website through the welcome message. It will be a good idea to welcome the users by mentioning how the website may be beneficial to the users or how they are different from others.
Avoid stock images:
Stocking up your homepage is a bad idea. Stock images may turn off for the users. If you are under the notion that stock images make your website look professional, you need to give it another thought. The stock images are easy to spot and look fake, especially when the images are distantly related to the website. Therefore, you must be careful about the images. The homepage must contain a balance of contents, i.e. images, texts, graphics, and videos. You can try video backgrounds which are a quite popular these days.
Introduction with flash content is a thing of the past:
Flash is outdated and introducing your website with flash content is a thing of the past. The users get annoyed by the flash as they take a lot of time to load and look obsolete. You may replace the flash content with video backgrounds, or GIF backgrounds which render a moving effect to the website’s home page. A homepage must be given the utmost attention and such mistakes must be avoided to give a professional look to the website and preventing from becoming clichéd. Flash slows down the speed of the loading of the website which is a crucial factor in user retention. Slow loading speed increases the bounce rate.
Keywords are not meant to be your page title:
Search engines have become smarter and stuffing keywords everywhere no longer increases the search result rankings, but lowers it. Hence, you must avoid keywords in the page title. When you use keywords in the title, which are not grammatically or structurally correct, they appear absolutely out of place. They not only ruin the beauty of the homepage but also make the website appear marketing centered, which is not appreciated by the users. Keywords are best used in the content and HTML tags and must be confined to those places.
Avoid using the word homepage in the page title:
There are many terms which must not be used in the page title. Some of those words are “homepage”, “llc”, “.com” which must be avoided in the page title. Using these words make your website’s homepage old fashioned and outdated. The information conveyed by these words are unnecessary as the users very well know that they are on the home page and reminding them through the page title is of no use. Also, no user is interested to know the abbreviation of the name of the company or the domain extension of the website as it is already visible in the URL of the website.
It must be clear to the web designers that the users are not interested in reading large texts on the website. Efforts should be made to make sure that more and more information is conveyed through short and crisp one-liners and teaser texts. It is good to invest considerable time to come up with such cheeky texts than write lengthy text which nobody bothers to read.
A homepage must be more distinct than other pages:
Homepage is where most of the users are directed. This warrants the need of the homepage being different and attractive than other pages. It must stand out and offer a UX, which is simply matchless and informative at the same time. The designers must strive to make the homepage as distinct as possible.
These practices have been deemed bad due after observations made by experts and analysts and can be trusted. Also, it seems very obvious as to why such practices can harm the design prospect of the website and enhance the bounce rate of the users. Therefore, it must be the top priority of the designers to avoid such practices and make an effort to design flawless and highly usable home pages. If the users are impressed with the home page, they are more likely to stay on the website and explore how it can be beneficial to them.
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