5 things to understand before designing homepage for your website

Suhaas Kaul
30th May 2016
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The homepage on the website of a startup creates the first impression. First impression is definitely one of the most important things, especially for startups, who often only get one chance at making a first impression.

Here are some points to keep in mind if you want to have a perfect landing page for your startup

  1. What’s the purpose of your homepage’s?

Every page has a purpose. What is your homepage’s purpose? Is it to set people on a journey of happiness, to wow them, or perhaps to bestow an unexpected reward.


The idea is to make the workflow as intuitive and as simple as possible with minimum cognitive barriers, where a user clearly gets what you are doing and follows one call to action that is there on the page.

Take Google homepage, for example. Its singular purpose is to make people search, so it just has one search field. It is simple, minimal, meets the purpose, and drives what the company wants the user to do i.e search.

  1. What do you want the user to do?

You must want the user to do something when they reach your website. Zero in on one or two such purposes. These are called 'call to actions”.

Do not give users too many options. It will confuse them and may result in bounced traffic.

  1. Are you conveying your idea?

I have seen websites having homepage with lots of data. It will have all the features listed, telling the visitor how good and awesome the product is. It is just like meeting that obnoxious person at the party for the first time, who cannot get enough of himself, and his accomplishments. It's all about him. You will be repelled by such kind of a personality, undoubtedly.

Try to convey the idea in one line and keep a simple call-to-actions that doesn't let the user think. Rather, it makes him/her do what you want him to do. For example, click a button to redirect to some other page or do sign-up etc.

The moment you start mentioning 'whats' and 'hows' about your product and features, the more they will question everything. They already aren't feeling positive about the product, and they will rationalise their exit from your site if they see one extra field in your form.

However, if you tell them your idea with a beautifully designed homepage, without making an extra effort to sell, user will go with the flow and do what you want them to do.

By keeping it simple with a brand message and ‘cool’ image you can entice people to click to the next page to sign up, without badgering them or submerging them in information.

So, don’t bombard the user who’s coming to your site for the first time with unnecessary information, features and technology. Rather, sell your dream, sell your vision, your idea.

  1. Beautiful is not always effective.

What is an effective page?

An effective page is one that serves the purpose, does the work that it is supposed to do, or rather makes the visitor do.

It can be a sign up (user acquisition) for some sites, search for some or simply exploring the product for some sites.

You might want to create the homepage with lots of movements, but to check the effectiveness of the page you should definitely rely on results.

If a beautifully designed page is not helping people convert, you should definitely tweak the page and A/B test it to achieve best conversions.

You will be surprised that the pages that drive the most conversions are not the ones that appear most beautiful to eyes. So, don’t go by your whims and fancies. Check the data, bounce rates, conversions, sign-ups etc. Let the data decide the best homepage design.

  1. Age-old formula: KISS

Keep it simple, stupid. Don’t show flashy stuff on the homepage. That will just repel the visitor.

Build an elegant, professional and clean design to help show off a certain brand personality, or a bright, colourful and creative homepage to help grab the visitor’s attention. Whatever you do, you should know the reason for choosing that particular style.

And there is no homepage that is perfect, so keep tweaking things here and there, and keep A/B testing it until you find the perfect page for your startup website

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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