DigitalOcean hosts one of my favourite communities.
Take a look at the homepage design below and see what you notice.
There’s a lot going on in this simplicity.
1) There’s an announcement of an upcoming event that is clear but doesn’t intrude upon the rest of the site.
2) The main navigation is really simple. Members can read useful information, ask questions, or ‘get involved’. The simplicity of the navigation here is great.
3) The top right shows the navigation to the rest of the corporate site. It’s there for people who need it but it doesn’t dominate the rest of the navigation.
4) The popular topics bar at the top enables the majority of members to quickly find the place where they should be. This solves any navigation issue for the majority of members.
5) The three-word header clearly shows who the community is for and its goal.
6) The subheader highlights precisely what members are expected to do and why. It appeals to the greater good.
7) The call to action (ask a question) is about as prominent as it could be.
You can see a clearer breakdown of this below:
The community isn’t perfect. There is no activity on the homepage, the banner is a little too large, and search isn’t in the prominent place where it should be.
But I’m betting if you can incorporate half of what DigitalOcean has done above, your community will be better for it.