Before anything a little story from the vault.
How did Google become more popular than Yahoo, even though it was much younger? For many years, since the birth, Yahoo maintained the same homepage layout disregarding user feedback. When Google hit the market it offered simplicity. A simple homepage that even now exists gave Google a push towards the skies. While on the other hand, Yahoo continued to experience decrease in visitors and users. However, several years ago Yahoo listened to their users - for the first time. This is why they got a brand new look that you see now, it was all user feedback. They realized their problem: their homepage was not very well organized, confusing at times, hard to navigate and it looked cluttered.
Once they began listening to their users and visitors, they changed everything. The result? They did increase visitors and users; however, the damage was permanent. Google is unstoppable at this point.
The moral of the story? Keep homepage simple, organized, and user-friendly. The best way to do it is to listen to the users.
The preseason I'm writing about this is because from the first few days of AN when I joined until today, the homepage became like a desk - stuff kept piling up, moving around, cluttering the space.
It looks very cluttered, too much stuff in one place. It is not very pleasant for first time visitors. It needs to be simplified and some stuff needs to go.