June 6, 2003

The user from the drainpipe

Jeff Lash has posted an on target article at Digital Web, How did you get here? Designing for visitors who don't enter through the home page. This has been issue for to encourage clients to look in their access logs. Most often 40 to 70 percent of a whole site's traffic has their entry point to the site at some other point than the front page. Many clients only think that people enter their site through a home page. The early Web years placed an insane amount of focus on the home page.

I have talked to Jeff about this a while back and he had the same experience with clients and in-house sponsors. Part of the change is eternal search has become much better. Many users head to Google to find what they are seeking rather than going to endpoint.com and clicking from their home page.

This focus shift requires sites to have browsing structures for their users. Test with outside users who are not familiar to the site by starting them in the middle. Check heuristics for each section and page. Does the user know where they are? Can the user find other related information?

Jeff nails this topic, which has more room to grow. Go read.



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