The homepage is your app marketplace's virtual storefront, so take the time to get it right. A good homepage encourages new users to browse, while helping existing users find what they need. It's usually made up of the following elements:
Featured Apps & Categories
Developer Call to Action
The hero section — often considered the most important part of any landing page — is a prominent textual and/or visual element that is centered at the top of the page. Since it's the first thing a user will see when the page loads, the hero section should tell the user they are on the right page.
Most marketplaces rely on one or two sentences of text for the hero section, with minor graphics added for decorative purposes. In some cases, the hero section may also include a search bar. Examples of marketplaces using this structure include:
Intercom: Connected to the tools you love. Powerful apps and integrations to acquire, engage and retain more customers with Intercom.
Shopify: Every business is unique. Find the app that’s right for yours.
Atlassian: Explore apps for Atlassian products
Another option is to use a slider for the hero section. For example, the QuickBooks hero section scrolls between a slide of marketing copy and four slides of featured apps:
Usually located above the hero section, a navigation bar can serve multiple functions. One of these is telling the user what account they are logged into, or giving them the option to log in if they are not already. Others include housing a search bar and enabling the user to change language.
Nevertheless, the primary function of a navigation bar is navigation, so it usually includes a variety of links to locations such as:
The user's app dashboard ("My Apps")
The platform homepage
The developer portal
Some marketplace homepages also include a sidebar, also known as a left menu or left navigation bar. Usually, the sidebar allows users to sort or filter (e.g. by category) apps, like on the Atlassian Marketplace.
Moving on from the navigation bar and hero section, the value of most app marketplace homepages comes in the form of a thoughtful curation of high-quality apps and/or categories.
Usually, three to five of the marketplace's most popular apps are listed just underneath the hero section as "Staff picks" or "Top apps". Below this, there may be similar curations (otherwise known as collections) for specific app functions or categories.
A sample collection on Hootsuite Apps.
A sample collection on Cloudflare Apps.
Instead of curating apps by category or function, some marketplaces simply list certain apps in a grid, such as JotForm:
Although marketplace homepages are primarily designed to serve users, they are often the first point of contact for developers who might be interested in creating their own apps. As a result, it's good to include a call to action — often towards the bottom of the page — that targets these developers.
The developer call to action on the Wix App Market.
We've looked at the main sections on the marketplace homepage. On the next page — Search and Categorization — we'll discuss the ways through which users usually discover new apps.