- June 24th, 2009
- 1 Comment
Corporate Web design has certain elements designed to attract customers. One of those elements is the introduction. The page or website introduction does what you would think: it introduces the website or page to the user and entices them to visit more of the website.
Using an introduction has several benefits. The first is that introductions can coax the user further into the website. If the introduction is colorful, well-designed and has a good title, the user will be interested in the rest of the content. The other advantage is that you can provide quick information about your business or website to new users.
Where To Use An Introduction
You will most often see introductions on general corporate pages. These companies could be selling anything from hardware to services. The introduction offers quick information about the company and its services and entices the user to navigate deeper into the website. You can even see this technique used on pages for non-profit organizations.
You will also notice these introductions on the websites of freelancers more often than not. These introductions generally include some sort of welcome in large typography with the designer’s name. Then below is usually a description of the designer that is a few sentences long. There is often a link to a longer description below that.
In the personal portfolio below, you can see this technique in action. At the top is a single sentence with the freelancer’s name and title. Then below is a brief description of the designer, including his experience, clients, knowledge, skill set and more.
Software and Application Websites
You will also see introductions on websites that promote software and applications. In these cases, the introduction gives quick information about the software, explaining what it does and its top features. These introductions almost always include a graphical element of some sort, usually an illustration or logo for the software, but sometimes screenshots in the case of Web applications. Directly below that, you will often find a button or two linking to the download or purchase page.
Here’s a website for a Web application that includes an introduction. The first thing you see is the large typography, which immediately grabs the user. The user sees this first, then their eye is guided to the sentence below, which provides more information. Next are two buttons: one for a tour, which gives the user more information, and the other to sign up. You can’t see it in the screenshot, but an illustration is next to the text that grabs and intrigues the user visually.
The Layout And Components
Web design is about layout first and foremost. So, this next section goes over the layout of the introduction and the elements included in it.
Text with Hierarchy
Every good introduction contains some sort of textual content, including information about the content on the page. This text is usually made up of two parts, different in hierarchy: a title and an informative paragraph.
1. The “Grabber” Title
The first part you see is the title, which should immediately grab you. Titles are usually very large and styled different than the rest of the typography, so they stand out and become a focal point for users. When an introduction is included on a page, it is the very first thing users see, so its title has to be informative and intriguing enough to pull users into the website.
2. The Informative Copy
The copy (text) is usually a brief paragraph below the title. You can’t fit a whole lot of information in the header, so you need to provide this paragraph below the title that gives users more information about the page and its contents.
Graphical Element to Grab the User
The title and other copy in the introduction should grab users and make them feel compelled to take action, but you should also add an attractive illustration or background to entice the user further. Take the screenshot below, for instance, which has a colorful and detailed illustration that quickly grabs the user. You can see the large title and brief information to the left. The copy is the first element users see, and then their eyes move over to the illustration. The background is vivid and colorful, which helps add light to the entire website, thus attracting the user. The illustration and text have plenty of space between them, which makes the overall layout of the introduction cleaner and more readable.
Buttons to More Information/Sign Up
One final element that is usually a part of the introduction is a set of buttons. On corporate product websites, these buttons generally link to product information pages, sign-up/log-in pages, purchase pages or trial pages in the case of software. These buttons help you convert users into customers and thus profit more from your website.
On the portfolio website below, the introduction includes a button that brings potential clients to the contact page to get a quote, making it easier for them to enlist the services of the designer.
How the Introduction Fits Into the Page Layout
So far, we’ve gone over the layout of the introduction itself. Now, let’s see how to incorporate the introduction in the layout of the entire page.
The most common corporate pages include some sort of introduction in the layout. As an example, we’ll use the Envato corporate website (below). In this layout, the top-most element is the header, the dark area that contains the navigation and logo. Next up is the introduction, which has a bright background that pops and provides a good contrast to the other sections of the layout. You really want your introduction to be the section of the website that stands out the most so that users see that area first.
One more note: Envato’s introduction has slight highlights above and below it. At the top, the highlight is a light green, and at the bottom it is a light-gray color. The highlights add extra pop and dimension to the introduction; these small details go a long way towards improving the visual experience of the user.
This next website below has a similar layout to Envato’s but doesn’t visually separate its header. In 45royale’s layout, the logo and navigation are one with the introduction. All of it is against the same background, which is another common layout style. Yet another example of a beautiful and attractive background that gets the user interested.
Showcase of Introductions
Here is a freelancer’s portfolio with a welcoming header that includes an informative paragraph about the designer. Graphical elements are also included to make the introduction more appealing to the eye.
Here’s another nice introduction by a freelancer. This one doesn’t have the standard layout you see on other freelancers’ websites. The page layout is unique but still positioned at the top of the page and quite noticeable.
This introduction isn’t contained in its own separate section, but it still flows very nicely with the design. The typography is large and the hierarchy is clear, which makes this introduction a good focal point.
A well-styled portfolio introduction. The background has a brush texture with a different color so that the introduction copy pops. The typography is nice, and the links in the text are highlighted.
Many graphical and textual elements are balanced in this one. The chimp illustration catches the user’s eye. The eye moves next to the text with information. And then the screenshots above give a better picture of the application.
This introduction has a very large header with a paragraph below. This website is a good example because it has a button that the user can click to find out more information. The common “Learn More” is used here, which is the best phrase to use in a case like this.
Ole Martin Kristiansen21
This introduction has two sets of copy. The first is a single sentence in large and colorful text. Then below are a few sentences that go into further detail about the designer.
PSD to WordPress27
A very simple introduction. It is large, with a lot of space and little text, but it still looks very nice. The text is large and so is the first thing users see when they enter the website.
This introduction has a standard corporate layout: very bright colors and visual elements that get users interested in the content. Also, an input area appears just below the text that lets users enter their email address to get updates.
A good introduction has to be clever, and this one certainly is. The header is interesting and gets the user interested. Text appears below to explain more, as does a link to the products and pricing.
The typography in this introduction is large, and the white text works perfectly against the green background. Below is a paragraph in gray, which pops less than the large white description.
An extremely well-designed and colorful introduction. The website isn’t that colorful, so the bright introduction livens up the design. The typography, especially in the header, is clean, and the introduction features an extremely detailed and colorful illustration against a great background.
The majority of introductions we’ve seen so far are rather complex compared to this one. This one is very simple and just fits the layout. Notice how the first sentence in the copy is highlighted. Instead of using a large font size, the designer here uses background color to make the text stand out.
Again, a unique introduction. Instead of giving direct information about the freelancer, this introduction has quotes. This gets the user interested and intrigued, more than a simple title would.
A beautifully illustrated and detailed design that immediately grabs the user’s attention. The title to the left is well-structured and flow nicely, and a link is included to help the user find more information.
Area for further articles and related resources.
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- 83 http://www.sitepoint.com/blogs/2009/06/11/you-had-me-at-hello-10-examples-of-website-introductions/