Updated Homepage

We’ve updated the homepage of OpenFarm yet again! Through some user experience interviews and by watching people use the website for the first time, we learned that we had a few things we wanted to improve. But before I proceed, here is the homepage before the changes:

Homepage (1)

From this, we learned the following:

  • A lot of people didn’t understand right off the bat “How OpenFarm works”. They read the “1. Choose a Crop, 2. Find a Guide, 3. Grow” message, but that wasn’t enough. What is a Guide anyways?
  • One member who had become accustomed to using the site got most excited when she saw the Life Stage icons on the Guide creation flow. That was when it all clicked for her. She said that she would have been more quickly engaged by the site had those icons been on the homepage.
  • The search bar front and center was intimidating because many people don’t know what they want to grow, rather they want ways to explore their options. Unfortunately, a lot of people didn’t discover the “Explore Community Favorites” section because they didn’t see the header for it at the bottom of the page, or think they could scroll down.
  • Putting the “Create a Guide” button right beneath the search bar was getting a lot of clicks, and then a lot of drop offs (A drop off is when a person visits a webpage, and then leaves to go to an entirely different site likely because they lost interest). We think that new visitors to the site are very unlikely to create a Guide before they have made an account, read a few guides, explored around, and at least got a general feel for things. After all, who goes to a cooking recipes website or Instructables for the first time and creates content right off the bat? Probably very few people.

After learning all of this we looked around for some inspiration for homepage design that would meet our community’s needs and found it at Airbnb once again. Here is their homepage. Notice that front and center is a “How it Works” button, the search bar is still there, big and bold – but not before people have a chance to learn what Airbnb is all about. Also note that options for exploring are above the scroll, making it very obvious that there is content down there. Let’s click the How it Works button.

Airbnb1

 

Nice. A big friendly 1, 2, 3 thing comes down from the top of the screen and tells us how Airbnb works! So, we forked a lot of these design features and built them into OpenFarm’s homepage. Check it out below. Or of course: on OpenFarm itself!

Airbnb2

 

Here is our new homepage:

 

OpenFarm Homepage1

And here is what happens when you press our “See how it works” button:

OpenFarm Homepage2

After implementing the changes, we decided to look at the site analytics and see if the changes made a positive impact. Turns out our drop off rate on the homepage lowered significantly with the new changes! Our drop off rate with the old homepage was 37.6% for a sample week in February and went down to 22.8% during the sample week in March!

Have some thoughts about the new homepage and ideas for future improvement? Drop ’em in the comments!

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