HTML and CSS Reference
In-Depth Information
Don't waste visitors' time. Every extra click you put in their way is one more opportunity for them to leave your
site and go elsewhere. Put everything people need to start using your site on the front page. If it's too
complicated to put everything on the front page, put the first step on the front page.
This will also make the site simpler for users to navigate because they'll have a clear root.
Potential Trade-offs
Many sites make you click through some sort of entry page before they let you do what you came to do. At
best, these pages are a minor annoyance. At worst, they make you sit through an all-singing, all-dancing Flash
extravaganza before you can actually get any work done. These pages are occasionally impressive (though
usually the main people they impress are the site's own designers), but more commonly they're just annoying.
Remember, for most sites repeat visitors are far more important than first-time customers. Someone who has
already bought your product or viewed your site and then comes back a second time is far more likely to do it
again. I don't care how brilliantly designed your front page is or how clever a Flash animation you've put there.
Users will be bored with even the best after the first time. (For all but the best, many users will get bored and
leave the first time.)
Ask yourself why people come to your site, and make sure they can do it on page one. If they come to read
news, make sure the first page is where they'll find it. If they need to log in, put the login box on the front page,
not hiding behind a link. If they want to shop, make sure they can begin browsing and adding to their shopping
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