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I have a weird dilemma, we recently re-designed our website and some of the changes have made a massive change in the way users behave on the site. Our site is www.simplycook.com

Our site used to look like this way.

Notice the top navigation bar.

Ever since we have changed to the new site, a lot of our users are clicking on recipes as opposed to the get started button. I have tested in on a variety of browsers and nothing is very prominent in terms of the change.

Any idea if I am missing something here in terms of UX? Also, any idea on how UX performs without having a top nav bar?

  • Just a massive thank you to the UX Stack community, got 2 really insightful answers here. – Hari Ramamurthy Jul 11 '14 at 11:45
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When I first saw your old page my eyes scanned the links "how it works" and "Products" before hitting the logo. That indicated the end of the navigation for me and I went down to the "Get started" section.

Looking at the new site my eyes scanned "Products" and "Recipes" and I since that was what I expected on a cooking site, I felt the urge to click "Recipes" to see if they really where that simple.

If the goal of your homepage is for people to click the "Get started" button, then I guess it should be one of the first thing you see. It resembles the goal of Noah Kagan to get more email signups. One of the tips he had was to remove the navigation bar, and just have a button at the bottom called "read the blog".

Perhaps you could remove the navigation from the top at the homepage and place some buttons just above the green area at the bottom to go to the recipes and products. The "How it works" section is already shown so doesn't really need an extra button. If you have a button for the F.A.Q. is up to you, personally I don't think it needs such a prominent place.

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  • Thanks Hugo, the link to Noah's email signup is definitely worthwhile looking into. We built a landing page from a third party squeeze page and it worked really well for us stripping out the navigation. most of our traffic are through social channels and somehow we are missing putting key bits of information and people are hence looking around. – Hari Ramamurthy Jul 11 '14 at 14:15
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I have a few more questions to get a better understanding of the user activity.

  • In the previous design, of the users that clicked the 'Get Started' button, did a majority complete their purchase or navigate to other pages within the site?
  • After going to the recipes page, are users proceeding to the 'Get Started' (order) page?
  • What percentage of users view the homepage first, rather than an interior page, when visiting the website?

In general, the change in user behavior could be explained a couple ways.

  • The new design has a change in overall eyeflow within the composition. Since the logo now appears to the left of the navigation, our eyes naturally move directly from the logo to the navigation (left to right). If the navigation were floated to the right side of the page, users may move from the logo to the featured area/'Get Started' button.
  • A change in the visual style of the navigation. Now that the navigation is underlined, styled more similarly to the logo than in the previous design, the logo and the navigation appear more related.

Omitting the main navigation from the home page may be acceptable dependent upon how you would like users to travel through your website. If you don't want users to see recipes before seeing how to place an order, I would move the recipes link below the order button.

However, keeping the navigation in a consistent location on the homepage, as well as all other pages, does offer many benefits. Users gain a certain level of orientation within the website, aware of where they are and where they can go. It is comforting to know that if you would like to explore more of the website, you know exactly where to go to view links to all the main sections.

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  • Hi Andy, many thanks for your insight. In the previous version, we had a very flat products page and even though we didn't provide any information the conversions seem to be better. People who ended up on the recipes page on the previous site, got lost in space. In the new site, even though we have lower conversions people moving around into recipes are getting back to the products page, which is an encouraging sign. The products page looks better than the previous one, not sure if it is very usable though? Any thoughts on this? – Hari Ramamurthy Jul 11 '14 at 11:43
  • Personally I would like to see people go through to recipes and then make a purchase. It is a difficult product to explain in a few words what the value proposition is and it has been a struggle so far. Thanks in advance :) – Hari Ramamurthy Jul 11 '14 at 11:44
  • @HariRamamurthy, I think the new products page does a better job of communicating the 'box' concept and what is included in the purchase. If users are able to build a custom box and still take advantage of the 50% off offer for their first box, it may be nice to include a brief explanation of this on the products page (dependent upon Simply Cook's sales strategy). Before hovering over the gluten free option, I thought it was currently unavailable due to the header's grey background. – Andy Jul 11 '14 at 14:18
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thank you for your answers, I can't vote up yet but the answers were both great and I have made a few amendments to the site in general. Please do let me know if you like / or don't like what you see. Interestingly, changing Products to This month's recipes are pushing people into the products page. Then when users go into all recipes they don't stay on the recipes page for that long and quickly move back into the funnel. I have only 1 days worth of data but it makes a bit more sense now.

On the products page, instead of the grey (unselected) box, we changed it into a lighter shade of Green.

On the login-register page, we added Money back guarantee, which seems to make some difference.

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