How Should People Enter My Website?

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by ComicStix, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. ComicStix macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    #1
    When I first put up my website for critique most people didn't like the fact that I put a welcome page up. If not for a welcome page then how should people enter my site. Should they enter through one of my instructional pages? (I am teaching how to skateboard) Should I just put a welcome page up? What should my index page be? A welcome page or some other page?
     
  2. NathanCH macrumors 65816

    NathanCH

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #2
    No splash pages period. No one needs to "Enter" any website. When I type in the address I want to see the website not a splash page telling me what I already know.

    If you're curious to see what your home page should look like, just take a browse at basically any website created in the last 5 years. Notice none* of them have "entrance" pages.

    *None of the decent ones.
     
  3. electroshock macrumors 6502a

    electroshock

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    #3
    When you build in welcome pages, you are adding additional layers and barriers to the user experience, and you may be annoying the power users as well. If you want it to be something people can come back to over time, they need a website that will let them get straight to what they seek with the fewest clicks.

    So while a welcome page may be well-meaning and has nice visual eye candy, my suggestion is to make it an optional link off the main page... and the main page being something that an user gets put directly into without needing to wait for any loading, animation, or clicking on anything.
     
  4. ComicStix thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    #4
    Can you expound on what this main page you are talking about has on it? I have a sidebar with all the links for my site.
     
  5. X-Cart macrumors newbie

    X-Cart

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    #5
    ComicStix, if you could share your site URL with us, we could advise you on possible steps for improvements.
     
  6. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    #6
    The user meant IF you opt to create a "splash" page at all, make it accessible by a link on whatever you've got as the default page that displays now when a user visits your site (your current "main" page). Splash pages do not have sidebars or menu systems.

    Make sure you're clear on what we mean by splash page to avoid confusion here. Ask if unsure.

    Personally, follow the original advice and skip a splash/welcome page entirely as was stated here. I'd like to add search engines these days index and prioritize based on actual site context, not just title/description and keywords, so if you add a "welcome" splash page it'll be indexed in a higher priority than the more important actual content on the main page one gets to after the splash. Search engine optimization is another great technical reason justifying not to do it, aside from pissing off users, i.e. or if you need to discuss this with a client who is willing to listen if this is a paid gig. Just sayin'.

    -jim
     
  7. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #7
    "welcome" pages are USELESS.

    google: splash pages bad
     
  8. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #8
    I agree, splash pages are useless but people still love to use them...
     
  9. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #9
    Fixed it for you. =)

    The same people are those who would like this type of stop sign:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wac3aGn5twc
     
  10. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #10
    Hehehe, I've seen that one before but I still get a good LOL out of it :)

    But it still comes down to people working outside their level of expertise and knowledge, and not just talking design here.
     
  11. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

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    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    #11
    The video, to me, is more about the culture of many companies that put aside common sense and get caught up in trying to please everyone as a new idea is introduced with good intent. This is true in both the government and private sectors, I've worked in both - someone comes up with a cool idea then it gets reworked, remolded and morphed into something horrible, not to mention the manhours and wasted time in the endless process of meaningless meetings and compromises to finally get there. It isn't that everyone involved in the process is "clueless", but that everyone *is* involved! This results with nobody having the spine or fortitude to stand up and say "stop" to the stop sign improvements - the real lesson at hand that I took from the video.

    The splash page is simply a bad use of technology, and we're all screaming to stop -- just as we're supposed to do when asked about such things. And for anyone following, we'll do it again, too, if this issue is raised again! heh

    -jim
     
  12. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #12
    Well, the video is about people adding things because they THINK it's cool, or that "people will relate to it."

    Same with splash pages.

    Usability experts and designers all say no to splash pages with good reasons, but some people still disregard or ignore the research.
     
  13. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #13
    There's always the perception of any good professional who makes something look easy consider it to be easy (not just talking about design here). Branding and design is general is seem as a "soft" industry thus the considering anyone can do, to a certain extent yes but doing it well is a different factor all together.

    Bad design is a result of not knowing what you're doing, splash pages 99% of the time is just plain a bad philosophy full stop and there's not purpose for putting them in. Still it's not as bad as trying to talk a client out of a 180mb video as an intro because "videos are awesome, people like awesome stuff to look at".
     
  14. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #14
    Yeah pretty much.

    Designers who knows what they are doing won't do flash pages.

    However there are some clueless people (usually in low level management) who want it.
     
  15. snickelfritz macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    #15
    In the case of a skateboard tutorial site (or any tutorial site, IMO) return visitors are not going to appreciate the repetitive delay of always having to navigate through an entry page.
    Instead, you should probably create an index page with a list of the instructional pages and a paragraph describing the purpose of the website.

    Lee Brimelow has an excellent tutorial site design IMO.
    Clean and simple.
    http://www.gotoandlearn.com/
     
  16. chiefroastbeef macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    #16
    You should do a knock knock joke page right before they enter your site.
     
  17. star-fish macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    #17
    Whatever link is on your splash page that visitors click to 'enter' your site should be the index page. It should have a menu/navigation and at least 250 words of relevant content with keywords.


    Well that depends on the purpose of the site. Depending on the company, they may not/need want lots of hits to their website (e.g. if it just has basic contact details or they are trying to push an alternative method of selling, or they aren't selling at all, like celebrities). In those cases, it may be part of their look to be 'different', 'cool' or 'modern', and they may prefer their site to be cross-browser compatible. Plus, flash designers earn more ;)
     
  18. snickelfritz macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    #18
    I think he meant to say "Splash pages" not "Flash pages".
    It's probably true that Flash developers earn more than traditional web developers, although the market for high-priced Flash is smaller than for standard HTML/CSS.
     
  19. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #19
    That is gold :)
     

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