Last week, I did a “soft launch” for the upcoming release of Mayer.  “Soft launch” may even be more of an overstatement. Honestly, it was nothing more than a tweet to the landing page that I setup to prepare for the launch.

By landing page, I’m not talking about the type of pages that basically announce that a product is coming and that [may] attempt to collect an email address for when its ready.

Instead, I’m referring to product landing pages that detail the product and provide calls to action for purchasing the product, how to find more information, and/or that details features, and all of that fun stuff.

But as I’ve been thinking of additional projects that I hope to release throughout the year, I’ve been thinking about landing page consistency for products across a given brand, and how much it matters.

Landing Page Consistency

First and foremost, I talked about this a few months ago when looking at major brands and comparing some of their product landing pages against other products.

It didn’t generate as much conversation as I had hoped, but this time I’m approaching it from a much more personal angle:

In short, as I look to roll out more products under the Pressware brand throughout the year (and in the future), I’m genuinely curious as to how much it factors into a user’s experience.

Mayer

The Mayer Landing Page

To be clear, here’s what I mean:

  • When you land on a product’s landing page, does it look as if it belongs to a certain brand?
  • If so, does it matter or not?
  • Should each product have its own unique style and feel that’s more representative of the product rather than the company?
  • Or is there middle ground where has the page layout is the same, but the color scheme, feature listing, and so on varies?

Personally, I tend to lean in the direction that landing page consistency is important for any given company because it helps give users a feeling of familiarity as they’re looking at the product offering.

In short, they don’t have to “learn a new page” each time they land on a page. This is something that I don’t think should be underestimated, either.

Anyway, this isn’t to say that the color scheme, screen shots, typography, and photography should be the same – that wouldn’t make sense – but the layout of the elements, descriptions, and calls to action should be consistent.

And You Think…?

I know that this falls under design and user experience neither of which I claim to know much about, which is why I’m throwing this out there for you guys, as I’m genuinely curious not only for implementing it in my own work, but as a general standard for design.

So, should products have landing page consistency, or is it acceptable to mix it up per product?

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Join the conversation! 14 Comments

  1. I am thinking about this very thing as I prepare to revamp my product landing page. :)

    My approach is a little of both. I think there are some familiar design elements that can be used throughout, creating cohesion, while giving each product their own unique look and feel. I don’t think this is really a one or the other answer, but creatively executing both.

    Now, if I only a second product to fully test this theory… ;-)

    • My approach is a little of both. I think there are some familiar design elements that can be used throughout, creating cohesion, while giving each product their own unique look and feel.

      Agreed – and after reading some of the other comments, I think there’s weight in this, as well.

      Oh, and eager to see the new landing page myself :).

  2. I think a big part of the question is how much cross-selling and return visitors you expect to have for your products. If each is fairly standalone, serves a different niche and likely a different audience, your brand may not be as persuasive an element of the pitch. But if you expect to build a contingent of loyal customers based around a particular set of use-cases, then continuity could be very important.

    • That way you’ve laid this out makes a lot of sense, and I hadn’t really considered it from a niche aspect in terms of how each product may be marketed towards a different customer base (which, I’m a little embarrassed to admit mainly because it seems like such common sense ;).

      Regardless, this is good stuff and worth remembering as I – and others – look to roll stuff out this year (or in the future).

  3. This is an interesting topic. Nate has some great points as well. I think I’m going to lean towards a little of both agree and disagree. There are a lot of variables like the product itself, the audience, etc. Are you branding the product, or are you selling your brand and the product is part of it?

    Some things can be consistent like colors, design elements, but other things can switch up like layouts, CTA’s, etc.

    Sometimes, when things are too consistent, people become a custom to it and it’s very to overlook what you want them to look at.

    • Sometimes, when things are too consistent, people become a custom to it and it’s very to overlook what you want them to look at.

      Yep, exactly. This is one of those things that actually deters me from wanting to keep something too similar for fear that users will already skim more than they already do.

  4. I’d say you’re touching on a few different things here that deserve some context.

    1. Branding: The purpose of the logo, colors, etc., on any webpage is generally to reassure the user of where they are (“I see this logo, so I know I’m where I was trying to go”). Choosing branding consistency across the company vs. a product line simply depends on which is more important for the user to know. For instance, Facebook Paper’s landing page is certainly an attempt to take the focus off the Facebook brand, whereas Twitter Music features a Twitter icon to let you know where it’s coming from and that it’s official.

    If consistency doesn’t help you, it literally doesn’t matter if it’s there or not.

    2. Layout: Consistency in layouts across different products’ LP’s is far less important than how helpful they are, and how well they drive the right users to the right action. Users don’t really “learn” anything in this sense; the best design will make focus and progression obvious.

    Besides, why box yourself in, when each product could solve very different problems? What if there were only really two big features, but your layout had three columns (like your screenshot)? You’d immediately go off message and put something less important on the same level as the others. You can’t go wrong focusing on speaking the user’s language clearly and concisely.

    3. CTA’s: You’ll see consistency in CTA’s across products because you can see consistency across all well-designed landing pages anywhere. A good CTA is findable and understandable. A user should know instinctively what will happen on click. A landing page, at its core, is designed to funnel a specific type of user to a specific type of action. However, if the type of action differs across products (one-time fee vs. subscription, for instance), you may not be able to contain total consistency.

    Finally, if you’re not sure what might work and not across these pages, they become prime candidates for A/B testing. You could keep the same layout and elements, but change the colors schemes (to test for brand vs. product consistency), or vice-versa. You’ll need a decent size test to glean knowledge, but it’d be interesting nonetheless.

    • +1 to Cliff’s novel of a comment ;)

    • There’s very little I have to say in response to this comment – it’s all great stuff, and I’m glad you shared it.

      I think one of the best takeaways (if not the greatest takeaway) from what you’ve shared is this:

      A landing page, at its core, is designed to funnel a specific type of user to a specific type of action.

      As for everything else, I was nodding along in agreement the more and more I was reading :).

  5. The website should revolve around the value and benefits of the individual product. Your Pressware branding should be noticeably present to back it up somewhere on the site. That tells the prospect who’s responsible, that there is an actual entity that is available if needed, who stands behind the product, and that as a brand you’re proud to associate this product with your brand. The degree you want to involve the two on each site is certainly more of a design decision, and should be answered by your marketing plan, and should be consistent. Are you aggressive , understated and subtle, dogmatic, etc… in your approach? That’s decided by how you want to be perceived by your customers. And that is defined by who your target market is.

    • Your Pressware branding should be noticeably present to back it up somewhere on the site. That tells the prospect who’s responsible, that there is an actual entity that is available if needed, who stands behind the product, and that as a brand you’re proud to associate this product with your brand.

      Great advice, Michael – thanks for sharing this :).

  6. I like when products are tied together via branding so my brain can make connections between them. That way quality ascribed to one product is carried over to others via a common brand. Each product can have some character, but I like there to be something in the branding that ties it together.

    • I like when products are tied together via branding so my brain can make connections between them.

      That’s how I’m naturally built, as well, but I know that when it comes to marketing and all of that jazz, I want to make sure that I’m putting things out that are targeted for conversions over my own personal preferences. =T

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