…sometimes we don’t really need the introduction.
In my previous post on website sins I focused on some sites’ lack of a web analytics feature and in this second post to the series the discussion will be on website intro pages both the good and the not so necessary.
The main challenge in achieving simplicity is that it forces logic behind every element that you plan on adding to an interface, the frequent question to oneself as a designer being “what value does this element add to the end-user?”
This is a question that should be applied to design in general, you don’t have to have a minimal approach to design but why have something that it’s absence or presence makes no difference to the design’s overall purpose and intentions?. Aesthetics? well, that’s a valid argument. But not in all cases.
Some designers have a habit of creating intro pages where the user is supposed to click “enter” to enter the website.
This puts your logo in the visitor’s face, it embeds your logo in their minds and they’ll never forget your brand, right? Nonsense!
An average visitor will get to your website because they intentionally wanted to, then why ask the user if they’d like to ‘enter’ your website?
That’s bad web design practice, an unnecessary click.
When backed with a logical reason behind intro pages can actually add enormous value by enhancing visitors’ browsing.
The three most popular correct usage of intro pages is to bless the users with choice of preferred language, html or flash version of the website and option to directly browse sections of the website that interests the visitor.
Below is three examples of intro pages showcasing the above correct usage:
The above intro’s purpose is to give users an option to choose a language of their preference.
Damien du Toit
Here visitors are given the different sections of the website, and a choice to select those that are of interest to them without having to browse through every part of the site. The intro page also displays 10 most recent post from the blog, which is convenient for Damien’s blog followers.
On fully flash based websites an intro page can be used to offer an option to download a flash player, specify technological requirements or to simply buy patience.
What’s your take on ‘click here to enter’ intro pages, especially on sites that publishes new content frequently?
Doesn’t it annoy regular visitors to go through the same intro over and over again? Or should visitors just type the directory to the section that gets new content (e.g domain.com/news)?
Links to sites that practices both the good and the unnecessary usage of intro pages will be appreciated, do share.