Iain Barker with an excellent primer on information scent.
Enabling people to find the specific information they require amongst the hundreds and thousands of other pieces of content available on a site can be a difficult task.
…It is interesting to note that the Orange homepage doesn’t actually contain the global navigation that appears on all other pages of the site. This is a point often forgotten on many sites, the homepage is the only page that doesn’t need to employ the same global navigation as the rest of a site.
The principle roles of the homepage are to confirm to users that they have in fact arrived at the right place and provide them with a clear and simple first step towards the information they require.