Organizing the Homepage Around "Pain Points"

(Michael Britt) #1

We’re in a “soft launch” period and we’ve organized our homepage like many community homepages: around the major sections of the community: Welcome Center, Our Blogs, Knowledge and Support, etc., etc.:

We have some great posts already, but they’re buried in these sections. I’m imagining someone coming to our site with a burning question about, say, how to motivate students (ours is a community aimed at higher ed instructors). As currently configured, I don’t think visitors would know where to find suggestions regarding this topic. I mean, who really wants to “Read Our Blogs” or “Join Our Conversation”? People want answers.

I suppose we could use a tag cloud…

But maybe I should organize the page a little like MumsNet does: with big rectangles devoted to the major topics of interest?

Any support/advice appreciated,


(Gear Buzz) #2

Nearly ready with ours. As you mentioned mumsnet I will trot out my home page eureka moment. It was during a fever bee Richard interview of the founder.

During question time I asked what thought process went into the mumsnet home page. She rolled her eyes skywards and said “no one looks at a home page!, that’s just for advertisers!”

I took that to mean that all her traffic arrived via Google directly into an individual search topic related thread.

And the home page was a good place to have a prominent “contact us (here) to advertise” message & link.

I was genuinely shocked how little importance she felt it had.

So we have squares that show off stuff that we feel represents our core strengths at a glance and a big message for advertisers.

“At a glance” was important for me and I asked the team to distill the most important thing we wanted to get across.

To decide on the squares and to organise the “auto population” of their content has been a difficult, drawn out painful journey and I have resisted investing too heavily in development for it.

Note: We have become a development addicted organisation with every admin team member able to come up with seemingly endless “it would be nice if x did y” functionality suggestions. Each of which costs money and time to implement. We have a giant someday maybe “good ideas” pile.

I think I just realised, our new page doesn’t have a sample of recent popular discussions… Yikes!

(Sarah Hawk) #3

I think your primary Search CTA would take care of that.

I do like the idea of specific boxes for most popular content. That would likely be more valuable than ‘Nice to Meet You’ etc. Do you have the ability to track what is clicked on most on your homepage? Letting your users drive this decision rather than making assumptions is preferable.