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Let's take two examples:

  • GitHub → the public page at github.com is a presentation of GitHub's features. Once a user is logged in, he never sees this home page again: github.com become the user's dashboard.

  • Simplenotethe page at simplenote.com is always visible, even for authenticated users. A users wanting to use the app needs to go at app.simplenote.com

There are countless examples of both of these two ways of doing. I was wondering if some research has been done to have an idea of which one is better UX, or at least what are the pros and cons of them.

I can think of two:

  • With the Simplenote way, if the user hasn't bookmarked the app page and types simplenote.com, they will have another step to do to reach the app (click "Log in"). It can be anoying.
  • With the GitHub way, if the user wants to see an information they have read on the public home page before logging in (pricing details for instance), they won't be able to without logging out (or open an incognito window, which starts to require some "technical knowledge").
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  • GitHub can afford this approach becase they provide intuitive workflows to get to the relevant portions of information - like pricing - that are directly navigable from their application homepage. Applications like GitHub that put in the extra effort to make homepage content discoverable after login, are able to offer their users a cleaner user experience.
    – essbee
    Commented Jan 16, 2023 at 10:14
  • Thanks @essbee, it makes sense indeed. If the information provided on the public-facing website is also accessible when logged in, then we can hide public home page for authenticated users.
    – Zwyx
    Commented Jan 18, 2023 at 8:52

1 Answer 1

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The primary question to ask yourself is "Is this information relevant to the user right now?".

As you have identified in OP, the extra step to get from a marketing homepage to the actual webapp you want to use is annoying, because most of the info relevant to a new user is not relevant to a signed-in user - You don't open up Netflix to view pricing details. Information which is on marketing homepages and still relevant to logged-in users typically can be found tucked away somewhat more (footer, account options, etc.)

If you don't know what's relevant to users in the moment they visit your homepage, you can probably ask your users (or your metrics) to figure out what they need.


The pattern of "www.example.com for the marketing site, app.example.com for the dashboard" is not one which arises out of UX. It's just easier to set up development like this, with the marketing website (probably Wordpress) living on a different server to the actual webapp.

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  • Thanks for your answer, Leo. This all makes sense. I was hoping for actual research results, or written rules used in the industry, but there might not be any.
    – Zwyx
    Commented Jan 30, 2023 at 6:12

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