Where do you start when you’re designing a website? I’m Phil Greenwald, I run Code Undercover, and I’m going to give you my simple, real quick and dirty test that I use to evaluate how good a website is at communicating its message and driving user engagement.

Value Proposition Says What Your Website Does

So the first thing I always look for when I see a website is a value proposition.

Does this website make it very clear to me what it’s offering me? We are so impatient in today’s age, we expect to go to a website and immediately know what benefits we can get from that website. And that’s what a value proposition is. And these things can be very simple, just say what your website does.

Let’s look at the website for Slack. I really like this page. You load it up, and you’re instantly told what it does. It’s a messaging app. You don’t need to think, you don’t need to guess, you don’t need to look around the page for clues as to what this product is, it just tells you.

Have a Call to Action

The next most important thing once you know what a website does, what its purpose is, the benefit and value you get from it, is a call to action.

You need to know what to do, you shouldn’t have to think. If a website wants you to sign up, there should be an email field right there. If the purpose of the website is to get you to give your credit card information, there should be an e-commerce form right there, but a call to action.

The user should not have to think about what they’re supposed to do. They should just very easily be able to go ahead and do it.

Again, I really like the Slack website. I think it’s a great example of pure simple design. At the bottom center of the screen, there’s a form where you can enter in your email address and press create a new team. Even if you don’t know what a team is or why you’re supposed to create one, you inherently know when you look at this website that’s what you’re supposed to do.