Note: Kim is the one with the glorious smile NOT the fierce lady with the Taser...
As usual she serves up quite a lot to digest - and I do have my own point to add - so I'm cherry picking the quotes accordingly.
I also appreciate the 'Home' page. Indeed I have written previously about how I have twisted the idea of the homepage to include what I have termed sub-home pages (see 2. Cut Across Site Architecture) to better personalise a site and engage particular visitors.
Recently I read a blog post claiming that web site home pages are old school web design and don’t hold the value they once did. So, as an old-timer, I felt inclined to Defend The Homepage.
Wherever the User Lands is Home
Is baloney. Every time a person arrives to a web page they’re asking to be served. If their needs aren’t met, they’ll leave. There was no positive experience. No personal satisfaction. No connection, and, by that, I’m referring to feelings. Most landing pages are nowhere near as fascinating to our senses as a homepage is.
If landing pages are all people or search engines want to see or use, there would be no interest in getting to know the brand, community, blogger, forum or shop owner.
Sites like these not only want to show inspirational homepages, but also point to any pages that talk about who they are and what drives them.
...of the long list of requirements a homepage must meet to do its job perfectly, the most vital to the web site life force is information architecture and the navigation it supports. Homepages tell us where to go in connection with the entire website.
Homepages are used to help establish sense of place and reorientation, especially in cases where inside navigation isn’t working.
Never underestimate the power of a well crafted homepage.
They’re the anchor for the whole ship.
Kim is looking at the homepage as the anchor about which a site pivots. The page that brands a site. That offers top level (at least) navigation cues. Etc.
Some years back I looked at the homepage and saw it as the site/brand focal point, the big front entry with doorman and concierge to direct and accommodate visitors.
And I thought about the portals of the time, such as Yahoo, that were allowing visitors to 'create' their own 'home' pages and about how browsers, open to a 'home' page (their own URL as default of course ).
I identified certain site usage differences, certain referring site (beginning with FaceBook) visitor demographic breakouts and created semi-personalised (group-ised?) sub-home pages that I thought would work as supplementary 'anchors'.
Analysis has consistently shown their 'Power and Glory'. The main the original home page is where the site formally presents itself to the visitor. The majority of internal (landing) pages serve specific needs/wants/desires. The sub-home pages are like the kitchen door, an informal general entry for friends. Those sites with sub-home pages show greater retention of new visitors, a desired point of entry for direct visitors, etc.
I'll just finish by reminding that domain root and home page are generally one and the same, the default type-in URL, the default link-out URL, the default branding of a site.
The Power and Glory of a Home Page