...Here`s what I think you should do. Your homepage should be the letters. Get people right into seeing what others write. That`s the beauty of your site, that not only is someone writing a letter of gratitude, but that they are doing it publicly. Make it more public and take away the "option" of
reading letters. Then you won`t need the sample letters at all. The
samples are the real deal.
Kind of like you have now, keep the "Write a Letter" button big and bold.
The core experience then is seeing other`s letters and the screaming
option to write your own....
Since your homepage will be the Letters page, you still want to tell people
what they are looking at. Currently you have several paragraphs on the
center of the page telling about the site. Great! I think it`s too wordy and
repetitive though. You can pare it down to the essence of giving
gratitude. Anyway, you`ll want to keep this info on the homepage but
instead put it in the sidebar since the letters will be in the middle...
Steve - Thanks for the great insight! We were struggling with how to get across the message of what the site was about (the often quoted 8 seconds before someone clicks away). I think that`s a great idea to get the letters at the top of the front page while still having a few words about the purpose of the site alongside.
Is it clear that, if the writer chooses, the recipient of the letter will receive an e-mail notification that someone wrote a letter about them? This is one of the areas that we tested that people said wasn`t obvious at first.
Russ & Michelle http://www.dearmissditty.com
Honor special people in your life by saying Thanks!