Hi, my name’s Matt. Welcome to my blog. Can I borrow fifty bucks?
While sitting in the office late tonight, working on the first homepage sketches for an exciting new client (if I told you who, I’d have to shoot you) it occurred to me, “Shit! There’s no newsletter subscription box on the homepage! Not even a link!” This instinctive reaction is born of working on perhaps too many CMS-ready content-heavy designs.
Next it occurred to me, “actually, it’s good that way.” On the web, until the user actually gets his credit card out to make a purchase, his currency is his data. Unless you’re Flickr, Pandora or del.icio.us, the user comes to your site with absolutely no reason to spend any of his precious data on you, your brand or your products. Until you’ve convinced him that the trade is worth it, you’re wasting your time asking him to tell you anything.
Asking for user data on the homepage is like asking a stranger who just entered your house for fifty bucks.