Krug 7-8

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"Whenever someone hands me a Home page design to look at, there's one thing I can almost always count on: They haven't made it clear enough what the site is." --- Krug 98

The discussion on how Home pages REALLY, need to make it abundantly obvious to the user immediately reminded me of those commercials for, where some person suffers some really crappy luck, and then it the words "Now What?" appear. I actually checked and noticed two things. First off, in google's pull down search menu that lists results for various things you might be typing, it shows more for " what is" than just "" When you actually get to the site, it offers free mp3s and some other stuff, after playing some sort of animation that takes longer to load than I'm willing to wait. I'm not sure how successful this particular promotion has been for State Farm (Turns out the site wants you to get insurance) but it really violates the very basic concept of letting the people you are trying to get to do business with you know what services/products you provide.

While this particular site violates Krug's rule for Home pages, it does address some of the problems discussed in Chapter 8. This chapter covers a lot of the problems involved with combining the input of multiple people, with multiple goals in mind. The ACTUAL Home Page for State Farm is pretty basic, and it's extremely obvious what the site is for. Even though "State Farm" is a pretty well known Insurance Company, it says the word "Insurance" at least 5 times in the top quarter of the page. It has only a few pictures and is really quite ideal for customers who just want to get a quote or adjust their account. It's probably what a developer would come up with if left alone-- It's extremely functional. (which seems to reach out to the younger generation and somehow get them interested in insurance) is pretty much what you'd get if you left it up to the designer. The whole page is a picture of a street, where the buildings have signs on them that are links to little games, etc. the whole thing moves, and little animations are set off when you move your mouse over them. The only navigation at the top is a drop-down menu consisting of buttons (which are pieces of lined paper with names in hand-writting) with generally vague, yet interesting sounding names ("Apartment Ninja," is unfortunately not a product one can order, but a flash game). Visually, the site is far more interesting than State Farm's Home Page, but I'd be greatly irritated if I had to go through it when all I wanted to do was pay my premium online.

So in this particular instance, it seems as if State Farm tried to avoid the convolution that can result from trying to do to much with the Home page, by just having two, with each one targeting a different audience. I'm kind of interested to find out how well it worked. I guess I have a feeling that any kids who accidentally click on some cleverly disguised link to State Farm's regular website, probably hit "back" pretty quick.   

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