There is a lot of detail below, but here are the changes we're looking for in brief:
1. Replace image with multi-ethnic female (perhaps dark hair, olive skin)
2. "Browse for a location" for search.
3. Call to action button "Get Started Now".
4. Add 3rd tab top right "Meeting Rooms" menu.
5. Freshen up page, but using current branding, colors, similar styles, etc.
6. "Learn More" area which features the 3 products (virtual office locations, live receptionists and meeting rooms)
We are looking to make some modifications only to the home page of our website. This is NOT a site redesign -- we want little to no modification to the header and footer. 98% of the focus should be on the body of the home page.
Two things are driving our desire to make this change. One reason (which is NOT a very good reason) is that several people don't like the guy on the home page. Most would like a female... ideally with a mixed ethnic background (dark hair, dark/olive skin, etc.). I wouldn’t spend much time thinking about this, but realize the team believes having a person that represents a customer on this page is necessary.
The other thing, which is far more important than the image, is to give the customer a better experience. There are several things to think about in this regard. Several interactive elements are a little difficult to use, specifically, the orange and green Learn More buttons (below the main graphic) kind of bounce around and can frustrating.
But even more of an issue is a concept we have gone back and forth on. It is "browse for locations" (our virtual offices are highly dependent on their locations) versus "get started purchasing" issue. For years we have advocated and found it to be important to allow a location search directly -- and prominently -- from the home page. We got away from this in the current iteration of the home page in an effort to push the customer through a sales funnel (Get Started Now). We believe this is good, but want a more obvious way for them also to browse for locations. In many sites today (for example mailchimp.com) the main graphic on the page gets them into the funnel, and the users have others ways to learn more and to browse. That's what we want... an easy way to get them into the funnel, but (unlike mailchimp.com) also a way for people to browse locations and learn more from a prominent position on the home page. While we are selling "virtual offices", it is still a location-based scenario, and as in all things real estate it is about location, location, location. Really.
So, somewhere on the home page there could be something like "Browse for a location" (search box) or "I know what I want, Get Started Now" (current green get started now button). Or they could be separate… we’re looking for UI experts to help us with this.
We believe we are saying the right things on the page, and the colors are right.
The size of the body can be increased if necessary. Below are some examples of other sites in the industry and from other industries where "location" is very important.
We are also willing to make updates to the headers and footers if it makes sense, but don’t want to make significant changes unless there is very compelling evidence.
Last, we are about to launch a new product, Meeting Rooms. It would be a 3rd tab at the top, next to Live Receptionists and Virtual Office Locations (it would go to the far right). It would also need to figure into anywhere else we mention Live Receptionists and VO Locations (like on the current site in those little pop up dealies below the main graphic). So please consider this when you are creating this new design.
Please feel free to ask questions. I can give you as much information as you need to do this properly.