The 10 Commandments of Effective Homepage Design | npENGAGE

The 10 Commandments of Effective Homepage Design

By on Nov 18, 2009


Just coming out of the Homepage Design Slam session at the Summit, I wanted to provide a brief recap for those who couldn’t make it. Don Roach, our Art Director, and I led the session and got some great (and brave) volunteers to project their homepages and subject them to constructive critiques from their peers. Each volunteer got a party favor in the form of a large Post-It tablet sheet listing some quick fixes they can consider to optimize their homepages. I’m hoping it will be a great tool for them to use to convince others in their organization to make some iterative changes. Don and I made a list of 10 Commandments for designing effective homepages, which we shared with the group to use as guidelines as we reviewed each page.

The 10 Commandments of Homepage Design

I. Thou shalt clearly state who you are and what do you.
II. Thou shalt be able to point to where your top 3-5 online goals are represented on the homepage.
III. Thou shalt offer clear, concise navigation.
IV. Thou shalt provide scannable, up-to-date content that entices visitors to click for more.
V. Thou shalt dedicate space to each of your audience groups.
VI. Thou shalt convey a visual hierarchy so visitors know where to look and what to do first.
VII. Thou shalt include 3-4 ways for visitors to engage.
VIII. Thou shalt avoid the Flash intro or any other gratuitous animation.
IX. Thou shalt make sure most relevant content is above the fold.
X. Thou shalt balance meaningful content with relevant supporting graphics.

Do you have other ideas on guidelines to consider? If you attended our session – what did you think? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.


Lacey Kruger, principal information architect for Blackbaud, designs online properties for nonprofits that delight and inspire. Whether a full scale website, a campaign site or a peer to peer fundraising site, Lacey guides clients through a research-based and user-centered approach to design. In her 15+ years at Blackbaud, she has developed a deep understanding of nonprofit web presences. That knowledge, along with her years of experience in information design, have established her as an industry expert.

Lacey has written a Blackbaud eBook, “A Guide to the Nonprofit Web Design Process” and her article, “Designing Nonprofit Experiences: Building a UX Toolkit” was published in User Experience magazine. She has presented at industry conferences including bbcon, IA Summit and BIG Design.

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