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From: Rob Stewart (stewart_at_[hidden])
Date: 2005-09-29 11:47:22

From: "Andy Little" <andy_at_[hidden]>
> "Rob Stewart" <stewart_at_[hidden]> wrote in message
> > From: "Andy Little" <andy_at_[hidden]>
> >>
> >> Have you considered that the index page may be too busy.
> >>
> >> For example see :
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> There is a huge amount of information available but only headings are used on
> >> the index page. Using their approach I would guess that a link titled
> >> "About"
> >> would be suitable for those who want to know what boost is.
> >> IOW nothing much on the main page ...just links.
> >
> > I find their page lifeless.
> Its functional which is much more important to users. If you
> were looking for data on a particular chip then you really
> arent worrying about how pretty it is. The best web pages are
> the ones you dont notice at all.

I disagree. When I see a page like that, my immediate thought is
that the company doesn't really care about their image.

> > I appreciate the amount of
> > information offered, but there's too much. They need to
> > categorize a bit more to reduce the number of links presented.
> Key point is that there is no content on the index page. By
> putting content right at the top of the home page you are
> assuming that you know exactly why the user is at the site.

When I see a page like that, I have to start hunting around to
find the information on the site. What does the company have to
offer? Why should I choose them over a competitor? If they
don't prominently reveal that information on and from their home
page, then they lose me.

> >> As a user all I usually want from an index is to get to the
> >> particular information I need as quickly as possible by
> >> clicking on the appropriate link.( For instance how would I
> >> quickly find Supported Compilers via the current page)?
> >
> > You have to pick your audience for a home page.
> I dont think you can pick them! The game is not to lose them.

When you design anything, you must pick your intended user. When
you design and write a document, you must pick your audience.
Failing to do so leads to mediocrity at best.

> In our case it
> > should introduce Boost to those completely unfamiliar with it.
> This is a big assumption about the types of people that arrive
> at the home page.

The point of a home page is to be the starting point for
visitors. Those visiting again are already hooked. Those
visiting for the first time will be lost if the page doesn't
appeal to their needs.

> > Everyone else can use another page. (That is, we can have a
> > secondary home page, if you will, that omits the introductory
> > text and related links and offers the links most useful to the
> > rest of us. Then, you simply need to save a bookmark to that
> > secondary home page to get your quick index to everything Boost.)
> FWIW I always start at because its easy to remember, but I am not
> unfamiliar. I should put a bookmark ? I have too many bookmarks already!
> Sounds to me like you are forcing users such as me into one mode of doing
> things. We wont like it!. Maybe the secondary page should be the home page ;-)

I didn't say that the secondary page had to have a long or
complicated URL. For example, we could use or
any other short URL. Is that hard to remember or type?

Besides, the home page will, obviously, have links to the
additional content of the site and there can be a quick link to
that secondary page near the top somewhere.

Rob Stewart                           stewart_at_[hidden]
Software Engineer           
Susquehanna International Group, LLP  using std::disclaimer;

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