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I am thinking of the structure of one my new apps for the web.

What do you think would be the most userfriendly approach to present the sites first page?

  1. Have a welcome page that shows just a company logo and a video(2 mins), with a link below that says enter the site.

    or

  2. There is no welcome page, the user just enters the site, and at the top right site can see the F.A.Q link page.

    or

  3. Other idea

Also i want to mention, that this site provides a service, but there is no need to register, to be able to use it.

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5 Answers 5

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Definitely the 2nd option.

while some people may be interested in watching the video, those that do will probably only want to watch it once. Being presented with a welcome page every single time they visit the site would just annoy them.

Give them a page in the site where they can find the video, (even link to it on the homepage if it's important - but don't have it automatically start playing without them choosing to view it) but don't force them to that page every single time they visit the site.

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+1 I am hardly ever interested in what the video has to offer and the extra superfluous click is a real annoyance that only makes me bookmark the page in which I am interested in, or makes me avoid the site alltogether. –  Marjan Venema May 26 '11 at 6:22
1  
+1 - This is question reminds me of the 'Skip intro' links that were prevalent on the web 10 years ago. Avoid. –  benb Jun 14 '12 at 13:05

This might be an option 3.

I think the point is here that if you are offering a service you want to be able to treat new users differently.

Have you seen the new introductory walkthrough that twitter has? (you need to create a new account to see it).

It identifies that you are a new user and then comes up with a popup at the top of the screen asking if you want to walk through a 30 sec tour of the functionality. Probably the key is to put it somewhere where it doesn't obscure the site. This way users may come back to it later.

Users can remove it with a close x button.

Several other sites offering services are doing this (will update if I remember who).

Just a thought.

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

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I'd go with option 2 or 3 although it epends on what you want, you might want to cater for different people.

Some people are new to your app but want to dive right in. Others are familiar/power users and want to use the app and maybe even see some data relevant to it's usage. Even others want a sense of why they want to use the app before they even think of using it.

So the answer is: it depends, just don't limit yourself to 1 audience.

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Option 2, for sure.

You should have a video/tour/welcome available, but you should let the user choose to visit it rather than forcing them to. Letting the user chose gives them control and the ability to chose their own path.

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If you are talking about an application rather than a website then an option 3 could involve the application having a different state when you have only just started using it (often termed a 'blank slate'). There is some examples of how other people have done this at the start of this article:

http://sixrevisions.com/user-interface/10-important-ui-design-considerations-for-web-apps/

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