Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
Ask HN: Writing copy...please critique my homepage
8 points by samp615 1382 days ago | hide | past | web | 19 comments | favorite
I am at a point where I am ready for some advice regarding the homepage of my new site. The rest of the site is not live yet...but can you please check out the site and tell me your thoughts on the layout and copy of the homepage?



Ultimately, what you're offering is a pre-vetted application that apartment-seekers can use to try to skip the hassle of filling out and paying for separate applications, right?

How are people supposed to get that from this?

"Land your dream apartment

Rentr is the world’s best tool to help you land your dream apartment."

That sounds like an apartment search app.

I think a lot of what you have written is good, it's just that what's front and center is the least helpful copy on the page.

This, to me, would be much more useful as the first thing I read on the page:

"Create a Rentr profile [and] stop filling out multiple applications.

It only takes 7 minutes and includes a full credit report, background check, social media links, and tons of other goodies."

The testimonials are made up, aren't they? If the rest of the site isn't live, how can you have thousands of applicants and landlords involved? If they are made up, get rid of them. Success or failure in a business like this hinges entirely on trust.

These proposed changes are significantly better than what is on the page right now. "All the cool kids are doing it.", for example, made me want to leave the page. It is very difficult to get that attitude right.

Thank you for this feedback. I agree and plan on taking this into account.

Yes. Because the site isn't live, I made the testimonials up...but I do plan on getting some real quotes and putting them in that section. This is like a scrimmage.

I wouldn't use "Thousands of applicants and landlords can’t be wrong, can they?"

I'd instead split into applicants and landlord testimonial sections, and instead of bringing in the idea of wrong, (and giving a verbal choice) I'd use something like, "Thousands of applicants have used MyRentr to get the appartment they wanted." I'd also probably not reuse bandwagon appeals for the landlord, instead go with something like "Here's what successful landlords have to say about MyRentr."

I presume that the service was launched locally and that accounts for the testimonials. If they are fake, remove them. If you grow and have more testimonials, try to geo target the first testimonial to the nearest big city.

You want to scrunch as much detail as possible into h1 and h2, while making them as short as possible. I'd change the blue h1 text to show on one line. Shorten the h2 text and make it more concise.

The overall layout is good, color scheme is easy on the eyes. Make the picture of the application about 75% of current size and sharpen the image. Bold the navigation bar on top, or at least space out the letters a little more.

On the rentr application page the difference between the smaller and larger text is too large. Cut the sizing difference a bit.

Regarding the copy - keep testing. Again, get as concise and detailed as you can.

Good luck!

I would go with a static homepage instead of the slider. And make the headline more meaningful. Ultimately your visitors aren't interested in creating an account. Instead, they probably want an easy way to rent an apartment (if I'm not mistaken).

I liked the pictures of the building and the handshake, but the picture of the paperwork -- which, for me, popped up first -- seemed very busy and distracting. If you can improve on that, do so. Maybe some more abstract representation?

I'd do AB testing on abstract representations vs. pictures, And I'd consider switching the fist bump to a hand shake.

I've been considering changing the paper to a step-by-step illustration on how to use the product. My thought was that I wanted the paper form to be a photo because I wanted the customer to see an example of the product.

Thanks again for all the feedback

The other two images are symbolic, not literal. One is a symbol of trust, another an image of a desirable place to live but is presumably not literally some specific place you are promoting. The feel good, pretty symbols draw people in. If you want to represent a contract, fine. But trying to share a sample instead of the idea of doing the paperwork is jarring and feels overwhelming and offputting. I used to make my husband read all contracts and fill out all papers. If I want your service, it is because you will spare me the trauma of piles of paperwork.

Maybe a picture of a building, followed by a handshake followed by keys in hand? To tell the story without words? But don't remind me of the paperwork. Find a way to tell me you are the person who will spare me the pain of the paperwork, because I don't fucking want to do the paperwork. That's what I presumably am paying you for. So show me imagery of how easy and painless this is, not imagery of torturous paperwork.

Just my opinion.

Best of luck.

This is excellent advice. I dig it. Thanks for taking the time to respond!

I think you could do that later on, You probably want to convey what is on the form more than what the form looks like, especially as the first image.

Fundamentally you want to be telling a Story. You can make it fairly simple. People use your product, get a simple form that they can use, and get an apartment. Your form doesn't look simple to fill out or easy to read as a small image though.

Frankly, if I was going to do it, I'd make it very simple. Start with an image or animation representing all the applications that landlords look through, with something like, "lost in an ocean of applications?" replace ocean with pile, or show a stuffed mailbox, or e-mail box.

Then show your form causing the individual to stand out.

Then show the handshake, or moving in, or signing the lease.

I think that story works for both applicants and landlords.

And if you want to display the actual form, make it a diagram, with pointers to each of the parts. That might be a better thing to display then the image of the building, which doesn't convey much to me.

I like where you're going with the site. The first time, you never get it right, but I think you're on the right track. I would try to list more benefits on the homepage. good luck

Thanks brother.

Is this US only? If so, are there any plans for Canada?

As of now, just US. It took a lot of work to be certified to accept social security numbers and do background checks. So We would like to tackle the US first before moving ahead. We are bootstrapped too the extreme! So trying to make it happen with little resources.

It's a great idea, we're looking for a new place right now as our lease is up and I wish there was something like this for Australia.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact