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What are the best web design examples, having creative "How it works" sections on their homepages, that help new users to grasp the basic idea of the site within a few seconds?

I have also seen many sites using explainer videos on their homepages. What is the most effective way: Video of illustrations showing each step?

I prefer more examples in the context of ecommerce and daily deals sites.

Thanks.

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closed as not constructive by JonW Mar 9 '12 at 23:23

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I would say a clear step by step tutorial making the user perform some of the most common actions is the most effective way to get a good grip on the site fast. Videos are still a bit abstract if the user can't do the actions themselves. Using the motorical aspect while teaching is a very effective way in passing on knowledge. I can't remember a good example though, which is why I post this as a comment. –  AndroidHustle Feb 9 '12 at 9:09
    
What's the question you are trying to answer? Survey questions like this usually don't yield good results. –  Alex Feinman Feb 9 '12 at 14:14
    
Notable does a pretty good job (notableapp.com/tour/why-use-notable), but as Alex implies this question would probably be better asked as "how can I make a good "how it works" explaination for an eCommerce site" –  Ben Brocka Feb 9 '12 at 14:24

1 Answer 1

Ideally you wouldn't need a "how it works" section at all. Using the right design cues to make it clear what you can do on the site, supported by appropriate copy, will help the user understand what the site does. Like a user manual, the "how this site works" section will be the last resort for most people. If you do need to have this section, keep it short and simple. Keep it high level, and use context-specific copy when someone is actually doing the task rather than trying to explain everything up front.

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