The Homepage Is Dead: Reach for the side UX door

The Homepage Is Dead: Reach for the side UX door 3 min read

It is no doubt that social channels have quickly disrupted our way of life. With the founding of Facebook in 2004, Twitter in 2006, Pinterest in 2010 and Google+ in 2011 we have all come to rely heavily on these networks. With users spending the majority of their time online (some 15 hours a month on Facebook alone) browsing social networks another trend came to emerge. Not only did it disrupt the way we communicate with one another, but it also disrupted the way we discover new things.

 

According to an article written by Quartz, these social interactions have led users to also visit the homepage of major news outlets less. Which, if one really thinks about it, we really don’t visit the homepage as much. When our friends link to pages — they link us directly to where we need to be, not the front page. When we search for information online, it’s usually for something specific that will take us to a sub-page — not the homepage.

 

Arming ourselves with the new-found knowledge we can adequately draw the conclusion that the homepage is becoming less important. What then, should we focus our energy on? The User Experience (UX) on our side pages.

 

The Side Page User Experience (UX)

Over the past few years, the User Experience has become the focal point for all good creative design. When utilizing it properly, websites see some very obvious increase in their metrics:

  • Increased time on page
  • Increase in user interaction
  • Brand loyalty increases as does the creation of brand advocates
  • Users on eCommerce sites are more apt to purchase items
  • Content discoverability and sharing of content is increased
  • And many, many more factors

These should be the goals of each and every company and accomplishing them may not be as difficult as one would think. Using a combination of  Web Usability guidelines and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy, a business can optimize their side pages for the optimal user experience.

 

6 Useful Tips

Here are a few tips for getting started. While these tips are enough to get a team started in the right direction, there are many more items that can be included for an optimal user experience. If you’re curious how your company should be optimizing their pages, be sure to reach out to nDigit for a consultation.

 

1.) Link Content

Make use of linking between content pieces. This increases discoverability and makes eases the burden on the user.

 

2.) Optimize for Search

Fine tune your SEO strategy so that people who arrive on the side page aren’t surprised by the content.

 

3.) Use Visuals

When possible, use visuals to display information. Time on a page will increase if there are captivating images that convey quick, digestible bits of information.

 

4.) Make Use of the Sidebar

Ensure that engaging content is easily discoverable by the user. Placing related articles or easily-digestible information on the sidebar can be helpful. But be careful — don’t overload it with too much information or the user will stay far away from it.

 

5.) Get to the Point Quickly

Users have a very short attention span. Recent research has shown that users are no longer reading the full article, they’re simply skimming it for pertinent information the leaving. There are only a few seconds to grab their attention — make them count.

 

6.) Don’t forget Social

When users are sharing a page on Facebook or Google+ it generates a link preview. To do so, the social network visits the page and pulls specific meta data from a site. This meta data (a photo, title and description) can be tailored to increase clicks to a site. Properly formed meta data can also remove the burden from the sharer so they don’t have to explain why people should visit.

 

Hope These Helped!

If you have any more to add to the list or have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below. We’d love to hear your thoughts on what was written here.

 

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