Here’s a simple exercise you can do every day to help you improve your website (or possibly any piece of marketing material).
- Go to the Product Hunt homepage (a daily list of community curated new products)
- Click the link to the product website (not the comments page) for the top rated product for today
- As you open the product’s website try to be aware of and note the reactions you have, mental and physical (does anything make you smile, cringe, wince, sneer(!))?
- Do your feelings and reactions towards the idea change as you scroll down the page? If so, what piece of content triggers the reaction?
- If you are not interested in the product, ask why (perhaps you’ll never be interested in that product but if it’s one you potentially might be interested in try to note down the reasons why it doesn’t feel right)
- If you do want the product, repeat the exercise in reverse, try to figure out what is it about the presentation of the product that makes it feel ‘right’ to you (particularly if it’s something you wouldn’t normally be interested in)
- Finally, reflecting on the whole homepage:
- what is clear about what is being offered?
- what is not clear?
Repeat the same exercise for other top Product Hunt results for that day. None of it should take long, just note down your initial reactions (don’t overanalyse).
Of course a high ranking on Product Hunt is not a guarantee of future success or an indication that a product has the best homepage in the world. But these are, for the most part, interesting new products that are attracting people’s attention for one reason or another so they are interesting to review.
Once you’ve checked a few Product Hunt listed sites, repeat the exercise for your own website homepage and / or your competitors. Try to imagine you were looking at it for the very first time and note:
- what are your reactions to it?
- what feels right? what doesn’t?
You are just one person of course but the Product Hunt exercise will give you a quick way of seeing your homepage again through fresh eyes.
This will not only help you get a better perception of your own homepage (so you can improve it) but also a better understanding of the way that you and others use and scan any web page in reality (instead of how we imagine people do it).
(This is not to say that any of my website homepages are perfect. I just thought it would be a useful exercise).