I'm working on a multi-screen website for my client. It's actually a new version of an existing website.

Goal of this website is to give students, professors and parents a place to follow up with educational programs. So students (from all classes and ages) can find great content to get better on subject, or work on a given project. Professors can find great content for their lessons or follow up what students are doing. And Parents can also find content to help on students homeworks. And so on.

Actually, the website home is furnished with random content picked-up in the last posted ones, without anymore logic. As a user create an account and logs-in, content become more specific.

My client has already run personas. He gets no less than 21 profiles... which I think is equal to nothing, as it finally cover every profiles. Every profile, means no profile at all.

Therefore my question is :

  • How this homepage can be relevant ? As any new arrival user will see a page with content he probably doesn't need or may be interested with, what's the point of showing content ?... if its not for SEO purpose ?

As I'm looking to reduce the entry points, my feeling is more and more that a powerful Search Results Page would be the best options for new users. Maybe in addition with a kinda complex menu including all classes, academics and type of content (video-quiz-articles-folders-webdocs).

What do you think about it ?

2 Answers 2


sounds like you already have 3 stand-in groups of users. Students, Professors, Parents. See if you can use what data you have from your 21 "personas" to create 3 proper ones.

With an existing site, there ought to be analytics. Dig through that to see if there's common paths / pages that people visit to see if you can discern what are some of the common tasks these 3 groups need to do.

The homepage probably should be divided into 3 sections. Determine if of the three, there's a group that visits more frequently and devote a larger portion for that persona.

Since you've mentioned a large amount of content, search will likely be used a lot, make sure that's prominent and easy to use.

From my experiences in the past as a college student. I rarely browse a site or trust the site's search system. Look at the data to see if ppl actually use that instead of going straight to the page via something like google search results. This might help you provide justification to reduce the need to provide home page content for a specific persona (i.e. students) if their typical action is search instead of browsing for what they need.

To give an example for a college's home page redesign, it was discovered that for existing students all they really need to access is the student portal. So all existing students got was the link to the portal on the header, the homepage was dedicated to promoting the college for prospective students/parents and other interest groups. Top real estate given to recent "news" (social campus activities, awards and special events) and department/courses ("academic calendar" like stuff).


It sounds as though the personas are not based on research, or else that research hasn't been analysed effectively if they've still got 21 different personas!

If there are areas of shared information needs, goals or tasks, then these can be grouped together into a single persona in the set. So in the case of a school / university website I struggle to see how they've got so many.

So to answer your question specifically, I agree that a page that has no specific information hierarchy and isn't tailored to anyone in particular probably isn't very effective.

The solution to this would be to do some research - who is using the site right now, what are their goals and information needs. Between some qualitative research and existing site analytics it shouldn't take long to work out what the key journeys are in the site, and as a result of that, what goes on the home page.

In my experience, it's often easiest to do the landing page last...

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.