Your website or app’s homepage is most likely the first place a user will engage with you online. It is therefore essential that you make the user experience exceptional in order to drive them to perform a desired action.
Quality designers analyse website data to understand exactly what makes users complete key actions. Your homepage must be simple so that users can navigate quickly and efficiently to get the information that they want. You also need to make a memorable experience by creating a website that is visually stunning.
A good way to judge how a user interacts with your website is to look at your page's average session duration or bounce rate. You should try and aim for a session duration of between 2-3 minutes and a bounce rate that is below 40%.
The trouble is that optimising your homepage takes a significant amount of investment.
Public sector websites are primarily hubs of information for the UK public to find essential information. The website must present a vast quantity of information in a pleasing design.
They are also speaking to a wide audience that may have different connectivity and accessibility needs. Simply put, your website must be designed to meet a range of specifications.
And to make things more difficult, public sector organisations also face the challenge of creating an effective website on a limited budget.
This is why we take note of those organisations who have managed this. Here are our 'Top 10' favourite homepages, which include NHS trusts, local councils and other public sector organisations.
The Harrow Commercial Services site is a responsive site offering commercial services to residents, businesses & schools. While the site is simple, it is user friendly as it clearly maps out key information on the website from the homepage. The site offers function and scalability, without significantly expensive design features.
Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust wanted a website that would encourage children to learn more about their health. In developing the website, they worked with children to identify key information that should be presented and designed it with them in mind. It is uses bright colours and graphics to engage users and also optimises language for simplicity in order to appeal to the younger audience.
The Manchester City Council has an award-winning website and it’s clear to see why. The homepage highlights the most important services to its users. It prioritises services like Council Tax and has a dropdown function for users to quickly access information pages. The vector graphics it uses to accompany the services are stylish and clear making it easy to navigate.
The Greater Manchester Police website makes it easy for people to get the information that they need. It does this by listing common topics with simple infographics and has functionality for a search so you can get to the right pages using key words. It enables users to get to information quickly and simply, reducing accessibility barriers.
My Trusty Skincare is a skincare range owned by Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust. Developed and tested by NHS skincare scientists, the product encourages trust in the brand and has a public-spirited purpose - where all profits go back into patient care.
The site is simple, bright and emphasises positive brand messages. It also promotes customer reviews on the homepage to boost trust. It pushes its products and makes it easy for users to add to basket and complete the purchase.
The NHS Blood & Transplant service uses its website to provide people with key information on donating and supporting giving blood. The language and images utilised highlight community and encourage users to get involved with the service and donate.
Sussex Partnership offers a clean and simple site that utilises large images of people to emphasise key messages. The header text and buttons are made more distinct by the limited text above the fold, which makes it easier for a user to find what they’re looking for when they interact with the site.
The UCLH website is a clean and simple website that feature key information above the fold. The scrolling page allows more content to be added to the page without appearing too crammed. A nice addition is the parallax scrolling effect, which features a smiling nurse in the background as you go further down the page. They’ve also highlighted their service statistics, which speaks to the target audience who will be interested in hospital quality standards in the current climate.
Wrexham County Borough Council commissioned a new website for the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, which has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The homepage offers a visually appealing experience with high-quality images and fun vector graphics. It’s simple to navigate and drives the user straight through to call to actions.
NHS Hampshire & Isle of Wight Trust commissioned the NHS Antibiotic Guidelines app, which was aimed at delivering up-to-date guidelines for prescribing antibiotics to GPs & Clinicians across the Trust. The home screen is eye-catching with the brightly coloured graphic positioned in the foreground, making the text appear secondary.
If any of these websites have given you some inspiration on improving your own website's homepage, then take a look at our Web Design service page.