Intro page for a website, round 2

apankrat's picture

I am working on a website for a service that wants to cater to a design/creative community. For this reason I was playing with an idea of adding an Intro page to the site that would be shown once, the first time someone visits the site. Just to set the stage and sort of help shaping the impression of the site before a visitor gets to the main page.

For one, I am not 100% sure that this will not come across as forced and/or cheesy. For two, I am not sure if I am overdoing it. For three, not sure if it looks stylistically correct to mix the small caps and lowercase italics.

That's why I wanted to get some quick opinions on the matter.

Here are three versions of that page, black/black, black/white, white/black and also varying in a type size a bit. The typeface is High Tower.

And just to get an idea of the website's style, here is a sketch of site's bare frame.

Any thoughts or comments are greatly appreciated. Thick skin is provided.

Jan's picture

My 2 cents:

1.
I personally think that these frontpages are old school. (Enter?)

2.
The intro pages don’t look like they’re in any way connected to what follows (or the other way round). Completely different style.

hamiltro's picture

I say don't do it. Any page that offers no link other than "Enter" annoys me.

apankrat's picture

> Completely different style.

Yeah, I know. One of the reasons I asked :)

> Any page that offers no link other than “Enter” annoys me.

Well, it will be shown only once per lifetime of a visitor (or rather visitor's cookie). I was more wondering about stylistical discontinuity, and whether this page may help with adding of a bit of Wow effect to the initial impression of the site. You know how they say that the first impression lasts. That's the intent.

aric's picture

The pages have a very classy look, but I agree with Jan about discontinuity. Why don't you use High Tower at all in the main website?

I find 1 and 2 a bit easier to read, but 3 a bit friendlier. In 3, maybe you could make the gray a bit darker?

seventy7's picture

I agree with Jan and hamiltro. Don't do an intro page. The site should be self-explanatory without the need for an intro page. People tend to view intro pages as unnecessary barriers to the content. If you include one, you'll risk losing a chunk of your audience to frustration.

Instead, focus on making whatever service you're offering as obvious as possible. Start with a tag line. Not sure if "Digital proof of existence" is the tag line, but if it is, I recommend finding something much more to the point. And put it where people are used to seeing it: below or near the logo.

The barebones frame looks classy and functional. And the color palette works well. Excellent work.

If you haven't already read it, I'd recommend "Don't Make me Think," By Steve Krug.

apankrat's picture

Thanks for the comments, fellas.

@aric, I tried High Tower for the main site headers and such, and it doesn't really work. It has too much character to it if you will and just unbalances the whole page.

With regards darker shade of gray - do you mean the center piece or the borders ?

@seventy7, I have the book, mostly obvious stuff. Too many pages, too little content, it should've really be printed as a pamphlet or a blog post :) I fully understand the hurdles/friction/etc concept of the user interaction and I was contemplating the splash page only because it might've brought more in terms of a Wow effect than it would've subtracted in terms of the usability and an extra click.

The tag line content is temporary. I will change it to something more specific... though it's kind of hard to have it both specific and short.

With regards to the tag line placement - it is still TBD. Placing it under the logo expands the header by another 20-40px vertically, and adds more dark emptiness at the top of the page. Putting it next to the logo is better, but makes the header look somewhat cluttered and busy. In its current position it is going to be shown only when the user is not logged in. Otherwise the right menu will expand to the left with more items and there will remain no space for the tag line.

Thanks for compliments, I'm glad you liked what you liked :)

seventy7's picture

I agree about the book. I only mentioned it because to me including a gate page is kinda breaking an old rule. To me, the intro pages you've presented do not add a wow factor. The site is looking awesome. Let it speak for itself. One thing you might want to consider is including a pop-over page, triggered via javascript when people attempt to close out of the site. This could be set up to only trigger once per user as well.

I think the tag line could work well in either of these two places...

OR

Miro's picture

I would rather try to design a massive header for the front page where I could put this stuff or use it as content for the front page itself.

dirtcastle's picture

Ditto on an entry page. Absolutely do not use one, unless it is a Flash site.

The site sketch is looking good! Definitely, you want the tagline next to the logo, probably to the right with a divider, as you mentioned to save vertical space.

You will find that, as you add content, the space between the header and the target area bg will be redundant empty space. Take a look at how others have solved this problem of connecting two bgs.

But yo... it's looking sharp! Keep us posted.

aric's picture

Okay, I just figured out that the numbers in the link text don't agree with the corresponding URLs--"Version 1" goes to "splash-3", etc. For clarity, the version I find friendlier is the one with the white background; I would like to see the logo and the words "the", "for", and "ENTER" made a bit darker. In the versions with the dark background the contrast is fine.

Even aside from the fonts, the splash screen and main site are really dissimilar. I imagine most website visitors won't mind the difference (most probably won't notice), but by making the two pages so different, I think you risk diluting the identity message you're trying to convey.

In any case, if you decide to keep the intro page, go to great lengths to get visitors beyond it. Set everything up as a link, so that if the user clicks anywhere (not just on the word "enter"), it takes them to the main page. And set up an automatic redirect so that after some sane number of seconds their browser will take them there by default.

apankrat's picture

Ok, thanks, everyone. The entry page is no more. I had my doubts (that's why I asked), just needed a confirmation.

@seventy7 - The second option has never occurred to me, and I quite like it. Thanks.

@miro - The idea to use the text as a content of the main page is excellent. I even know the exact way to do it without committing to a specific Serif and still using only Sans throughout the site. Just make it a part of a screenshot.

@dirtcastle - It's not obvious from the sketch, but the empty break is actually used for displaying descriptions of the menu items as the mouse is hovered over and (eventually) for the submenus.

@aric - Thanks for the follow-up, everyone's gamma is different I guess :)

apankrat's picture

Round two

Today I have a selection of seven fine typefaces and I wanted to ask for help with making a wise choice.

I am considering using this font for the headers, tag lines and "slides", i.e. sparingly and for relatively short stretches of the text (set at 14-18px).

Just to re-establish the context - a website providing serious, fairly technical service, but primarily catering to the design community. Needs to be clean, friendly, professional with a bit of personality.

Please cast your votes, ladies and gentlemen. #8 is for "they all look the same" :)

I am personally leaning towards #5.

Here is the selection.

apankrat's picture

Poll is now closed. Thanks for all the comments :)

eliason's picture

Yep, #5 is good. #4 also fits the bill pretty well.

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