Homepage Usability

Five Second Test 

I reviewed the website for Taste Oklahoma.  After the 5 seconds, I answered the following questions:

1.  What is the company’s core business? Promoting products made in Oklahoma

2.  What captures your attention?   Nothing, really

3.  What do you think you can do on the homepage?   Maybe purchase products made in Oklahoma

It’s not clear if Taste Oklahoma is a company, or just a way to promote other businesses in the state.   They need a good logo. It’s not clear where you should go from the main page.  The eye has nowhere to land when you first open the page, and navigation needs to be simplified for the user.   The search box should be moved to the top right of the page as well.  There is way too much information on this page.  It does not give a first-time user a clear idea of what the website is about.

Successful Websites

I think Aunt Sally’s Pralines has a very good homepage.  When you go to the website, the first thing you see is a photo of what they are most known for – pralines!  There is a link on the photo to take you directly to ordering – “have yours shipped today”.  This is great for those who already know what they want, and just want to hurry up and buy.  Some of their special items are along the bottom of the page.  They have a tagline – New Orleans Most Famous Praline, as well as the company name and description in the title tag.  Their links are very clear and specific.   One thing I would change is to put the link of the current page in a different color so you know where you are.  There is a search option at the top and bottom of the page, but it is rather small, and only in text.  I think it would be better to have search box to be more visible to the user.

Nichols Travel also has a good homepage.  The first thing you see is a beautiful photograph.  The navigation links across the top or side of the page give you a quick way to get to the areas you want to see.  Below the main nav area are links to each travel agent within the agency.  The site has a good tagline and the company name and description on the title tag.  The graphics are meaningful and not over-done.  I would add a search box and get rid of the sound effects.  I also would add a link to current specials.

Unsuccessful Websites

Hebert’s Specialty Meats is not a successful website.  When you first open the webpage, you cannot tell what the company does.  It’s mostly white space.  Your eye travels all over the place.  I have had this company’s products and know how fantastic they are.  This website does not do the company justice.  There is a link that goes nowhere.   There are no photos of what they sell.  The “about us” section takes up too much room.  You cannot tell where you are, when you click on a link.  There is a search box, but it should be moved to the top right.

Another unsuccessful website is Big Sky Tours.  This homepage is very difficult to read.  The wrapper color is ugly.  There is a ton of empty black space on the page as well.  The company name is very hard to see, and there is no logo.  The links are tiny and hard to read.  The content is hard to read as well.  I think they have a tagline, but it is not very obvious.  It is hard to know where to go once you come to this page. I just don’t see anything here that is working for the company.

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