[thelist] Separate landing pages -- and custom "home" links.

Bill Moseley moseley at hank.org
Fri Nov 5 19:06:37 CDT 2010

On Fri, Nov 5, 2010 at 12:47 PM, Barney Carroll <barney.carroll at gmail.com>wrote:

> I think relying on front-end techniques would be a bad move — difficult to
> maintain, unreliable, and presenting a fundamental navigation model with an
> unnecessary conflation of content and function: I would handle this either
> through session IDs, or query strings (perhaps a better idea — copied or
> shared links would retain their original context) to be interpreted on the
> back-end — whichever the case, a generic variable string or function could
> then be used to output relevant links as and when they occur.

Problem I see with query parameters is making sure every link then includes
that parameter.

And one problem with cookies (where the content returned is different based
on some value) is caching.  I think the URL should point to (basically) the
same page.  Dynamically generated content is different.

Using cookies to redirect is different.

> However I have to say that the information architecture may be
> fundamentally flawed — the notion of a home page is subverted by this model:
> are you sure you want to go to these elaborate and unconventional lengths to
> rob the user of an unambiguous introductory site root? I can understand a
> generic use case for presenting different contextual content in some parts
> of the homepage, or offering a sub-page hub for the specific requirements…
> But destroying the ubiquitous notion of a unique homepage, especially if
> most of the site's material doesn't distinguish user types, sounds like it
> could get problematic both from a maintenance and user perspective…?

I'm never sure about the requests that come from the, eh, creative side of
the office.

The idea is marketing would send out URLs to targeted "landing" pages.  The
request was simply to send them back to the same landing page if they click

My suggestion was to have one home page, but one section that has tabs for
the different types of users.  Then send them to index.html?student with the
targeted marketing.  Then if they later click home (from another page) to go
back to index.html it would not show the specific content but would be
available by clicking on the "student" tab.

I'm not sure anyone would need to see the same marketing content more than
once... ;)

Bill Moseley
moseley at hank.org

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