No New Home Page This Year

Well, the numbers are in from our most recent beta test of a new home page design, and they’re not as I’d hoped. While one researcher recently found our web site to be “quite easy to navigate only after several visits,” our beta metrics indicated that changing the home page actually made it harder for returning visitors to find what they were seeking.   

So, we theorized that if we ran the beta test for a longer period, the return visitors would have time to become more comfortable with the new navigation. Thus, a longer beta run would show return visitor results beginning to level out with new visitor results in both the beta and control groups. However, after re-running the beta for twice as long, control continued to outperform the beta group. 

We want to make sure that our customers know how to find what they are looking for on as we head into the holiday shopping season, and these results seem to indicate that the new page does not improve findability. Something  Peter Morville dubbed “one of the most thorny problems in web design.” So, we will not launch a new home page until after the end of this year. 

About the Author: Laura Pevehouse

Laura Pevehouse was profiled as one of five “social media mavens” in the March 2009 issue of Austin Woman Magazine and named an AdWeek’s TweetFreak Five to Follow. She has been part of the Dell organization for more than 15 years in various corporate communications, employee communications, public relations, community affairs, marketing, branding, social media and online communication roles. From 2014-2018, Laura was Chief Blogger/Editor-in-Chief for Direct2DellEMC and Direct2Dell, Dell’s official corporate blog that she help launch in 2007. She is now a member of the Dell Technologies Chairman Communications team. Earlier in her Dell career she focused on Global Commercial Channels and US Small and Medium Business public relations as part of the Global Communications team. Prior to that, she was responsible for global strategy in social media and community management, as well as marcom landing pages, as a member of Dell’s Global SMB Marketing, Brand and Creative team. When she was part of Dell’s Global Online group, Laura provided internal consulting that integrated online and social media opportunities with a focus on Corporate Communications and Investor Relations. She managed the home page of, one of the top 500 global web sites in Alexa traffic rank, and first brought web feeds and podcasts to the ecommerce site. In her spare time she led Dell into the metaverse with the creation of Dell Island in the virtual world Second Life. Laura has earned the designation of Accredited Business Communicator from the International Association of Business Communicators, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Louisiana State University. Before joining Dell Financial Services in 2000, she worked at the Texas Workforce Commission and PepsiCo Food Systems Worldwide.