A New Landing Page?

Before I say anything, I just want to preface this by saying I’m really thankful for this website. I enjoy this community, and the content to help animators along their journey. I just wanted to contribute by sharing an idea.

I think the site could benefit with a new, improved landing page, as a way to make the site’s intent clear to newer users, and to help current users navigate through information easily, as a way to improve the overall user experience.

With how the current site is, there really isn’t a proper landing page, which I think can be problematic for new users who are trying to understand the intent, or purpose, of the site, or are looking for ways to start interacting with the community. Instead, we’re jumping straight to the content, which by itself is a bit overwhelming without the context of the site’s intent, and already the users are presented with an open field of information without any direction or recommendation on where to start. A proper landing page may be able to help solve these problems.

I don’t really like pointing out problems without contributing solutions, so I’m attaching a simple mockup I made of potential changes that can be done, with more of a focus on the layout of the content, instead of the UI design.

  1. I think right now, the navigation bar is fine as it is.
  2. This would be an area that would contain a simple message on the site’s intent or purpose, as to assist new viewers. Something to explain that this is a forums website to help people connect and discuss Sakuga Animation. Maybe it’s possible to use this as a slideshow for featured content as well!
  3. As of right now, the categories section is just a separate column right next to the topics/posts. I think if it had its own row, and more variation in its shape compared to the elements for the topics/posts, this will just help it stand out better, and act as a nice focus to start for newer users.
  4. This would just represents the filters for the topics/posts.
  5. This is a representation for the posts.
  6. I’m thinking that site could incorporate a footer, maybe as a way to direct to some associated social media (I still don’t know if that exists, other than the private discord) or ways to support associated projects (like the Striving for Animation channel or patreon).

Oh dear, that was mouthful, but hopefully this can be helpful. I know I said this would be more to help attract and keep newer users, but I think reworking the site’s layout (and maybe changing the site’s UI) would benefit all users and just help with the overall experience.

Anyway, I’m interested in hearing what other people think, so lemme know plz lol.

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Problem is the UI is likely off of some template that makes a forum such as this easy to spin up and wasn’t built from the ground up because I’m assuming Jarrett’s not a developer/familiar with user retention. I do agree that users upon entering can get overwhelmed and even now I don’t really know what the site is for other than for animators - wannabe or not - to talk to each other.

Yeah I agree, as much as I would like to see web improvements, I know it takes time just to step back from other things just to focus on web development stuff. Plus, I don’t know if people really care too much about the experience once they get used to the site.

Do you know if it’s just Jarrett maintaining the site, or does he have a team on the side? And the site’s purpose is just a forum/community for people into animation right? Or is there a more specific goal I’m missing?