Comment on the Case Study on page 46 of Redish regarding home pages and path pages.
The Health and Human Services website case study reinforces the notion that web users are less "reader" and more "scanner." Like Jakob Nielsen points out on his usability-focused sites, Ginny Redish reiterates that web users are usually task oriented - leaving extraneous details in the wake of efficiency.
The original Health & Human Services page featured icons with vague pathways and information irrelevant to a most user's task-oriented searching. The original site had some positive aspects such as prominent menus placed in expected locations, but its intent (if there was one) was to highlight information important to the Department of Health and Human Services. The updated page is much more focused toward what a user needs from the department.
The new site accomplishes a user-based experience by categorizing the information on its homepage with easily identifiable language. The labels are simple, but lead to more complex information, one benchmark of an effective website.
One site that could use a makeover similar to the HHS site is the homepage of the 2014 Winter Olympics taking place in Sochi, Russia.
As of tonight, as I type this in front of the 2010 Vancouver closing ceremonies, the Sochi site is promotional and will likely be iterated into a usable traffic center as the world turns its eyes to Russia in four years. But for now, the site doesn't have a usable menu on its homepage and features news stories that lead to somewhat unrelated sub pages. The future site will likely feature linkable symbols of each event, graphs depicting medal counts, and up to the minute information scrolling across an interactive window. Sochi may need Ginny and Jakob's help to make it happen.