February 10th, 2006
In a recent article on A List Apart, Derek Powazek, an expert designer and past User Interface Conference speaker, describes how he goes about designing a web site:
When I set out to design a website, I do it backwards. I start with the design of the smallest, deepest element: the story page or search results. Then I work backwards to design their containers: section pages, indexes. Then, lastly, I work on the home page.
Derek’s approach to site design is consistent with what we’ve seen work most effectively. All too often, clients tell us they spend the majority of their time focusing on the design of the home page when we’ve found that it’s actually the least important page on the site. As Jared mentioned in his post, Is Home Page Design Relevant Anymore?, the home page serves only two purposes for users: it delivers the content, or it provides strong scent to get users to the content page they want.
We’ve seen that the most successful design teams focus on designing the content pages first, ensuring they have all the information that users need on those pages. They understand that the content page is the most important page to users for a very simple reason: this is where users find the information they’ve been seeking.
Does your team spend a large amount of time and resources focused on the homepage? Which page gets the highest priority with your team?Tweet