A Home Page Without Sliders; The Map

Since we’ve established that sliders are not the best use of your home page (or any page, for that matter. I remain an anti-fan) you could be forgiven for wondering what you’re meant to put there instead.

There are as many options for home pages as there are flavours of gelato, but unlike gelato there are only a few good kinds. Over the next few weeks we’ll be exploring my three favourites along with why they work, why they don’t work every single time, and some pointers on how to make it work for you.

The Full Out Happy Camper Map

This version probably has the most content of the lot; you use your home page to walk people through what you do, who you are, who you serve/talk to, and where they should go next (which is pretty standard across each version). But you do it in a longer form, wordy way. Length isn’t an issue to Maps, but a varied layout with strong typography and supporting graphics is where the magic happens.

You’re going to want to pick a main theme for your visitors to keep the ‘obvious’ direction clear, but you can talk a bit more, share a little more information. Take them on a journey and don’t be afraid of the scrolling.

Pros;

  • Looks substantial, you can fit a lot of good, solid content on your home page and it’ll be supported without seeming odd.
  • If designed around a central theme it’s compelling and beautiful, especially if you get the balance right between text and images.
  • Solid sense of who you are quickly conveyed, so people can start to know you and like you right away.

Cons;

  • Scattered onward journeys; there isn’t one true path with a road map so it can make directing visitors to a specific place much harder.
  • Without a lot of fine tuning it can be hard to show the main priorities on your page. Hierarchy is still important and can be visibly difficult to convey.

How to make it work;

Choose a main action you want people to take as you would for any other home page, then gear the content you share to that action. So for example if you have some text about what you do, who you are and who you help, and you want people to go towards one specific service or offering? Frame each section with that in mind so that it’s the piece they’re logically curious about.

Next week I’ll talk you through another method, which should look really familiar since it’s the one I use on this site. For now, hop over to Facebook and like my page – I’ll be going live tomorrow to talk a bit about this layout in more detail and riff on what makes a good “Map” homepage from a design perspective.

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