Inconsistency

I’d venture to say that most anyone you ask will say that a product’s landing page design plays one of the most important roles in generating conversions. After all, why else would we have tools and products dedicated solely to studying visitor analytics, data tracking, a/b testing, and so on?

Common sense, right?

Granted, there are certain things that are known to work when building landing pages. That is to say that there are principles that are tried, true, and proven as it relates to creating landing pages for working to sell products to users.

The thing is, all of these principles can be dressed up differently depending on the color scheme, company branding, culture, verbiage, and so on.

With that said – and I’m sure there’s an answer for those of you who are designers, marketers, and/or usability experts who are reading along – how much, if at all, does the consistency of landing page design matter for products that belong to a single brand?

Product Landing Page Design

When you look at what some of the most successful companies do online, you recognize that there is consistency for each of their product landing pages.

That is to say:

  • The branding is consistent
  • The orientation of elements, calls to action, screenshots, promotional material, and more is in the same place
  • The only thing that changes is the images of the product being sold (and perhaps a couple of head shots, if people are involved)

Three quick examples that come to mind:

1. Apple

Check out the pages for the iPad, iPhone, and the MacBook:

MacBook iPhone iPad Mini

The all contain the following:

  • Navigation
  • Slider for the product shots
  • Feature callouts
  • Product description
  • Where to buy

All similar structure, right?

2. WooThemes

Note that the following examples include a color scheme for this year’s Black Friday sale. Though the traditional Woo colors are blue and white, the experience for each of the following products is the same:

WooStore Canvas Upstart

Each product page follows the same landing page design, as well:

  • Title of the theme with a demo and a call to action
  • A screenshot
  • Details of the theme

And this same design is consistent across all of their product pages.

3. 37signals

For as popular as they are and as much research as they place on A\B testing, there’s arguably the most variation of designs across their product landing page designs.

Highrise Basecamp Campfire

Granted, the first two designs aren’t that different. They both include:

  • An actual person
  • A quote explaining why they love the product
  • A call to action to sign up

The Campfire product page is obviously the product page that deviates the most. In fact, it’s actual part of the their older designs. Regardless, they still feature some of the same elements.

Namely:

  • A short description of the product and why it’s beneficial (similar to the testimonials)
  • A big call to action to sign up

Rather than a person, they feature shots of the product.

Consistently Consistent (Or Not?)

All of the examples above have what I consider to be generally consistent product landing page designs.

Based on looking at what successful companies have done, as well as the research in this area appears to suggest is that consistency does matter.

But how much?

For example, if I WooThemes were to change the color scheme of each of the product landing pages, how would that impact conversions?

I venture to say negatively because it would create a disjointed experience for the user. Then again, I’m not a marketer, usability expert, or any of that fun stuff so I’m simply basing that on what amounts to conventional wisdom and my own preferences.

All of that to say: I’m genuinely curious on what you guys – both from your expertise as your subjectivity – think on how much consistency matters on product landing page design across a single brand.

Featured Image Credit.

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Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. Consistency is something that I WANT to achieve, but often fail at. When you see it done well, it isn’t something that jumps out at you. From a usability stand point, it just works and the user focuses on the content, but when done poorly… when your landing pages are inconsistent, users do get confused and bounce.

    My struggle is creating the consistency within my org. This goes much further than landing pages. This is the heart and soul of any sign that is created from someone who knows how to open powerpoint. As one person, it is tough to oversee all creative that others in the org do. I try to stay on top of it, and am getting better, but still tough.

    Back to web content, I’ve tried to NOT create microsites to this point, but am getting more and more pressure to do it. I believe that they can also destroy consistency that a brand has worked to achieve.

    • When you see it done well, it isn’t something that jumps out at you.

      Exactly – and I think that’s a great thing. The consistency (or lack thereof) should not be what gets your attention – it’s the product.

      My struggle is creating the consistency within my org.

      This is why I thin it’s important to have a brand guide. I was glad Jared and Chris worked on one for 8BIT, and it’s something I still need to do for Pressware, but it’s one of those things that’s lower priority on my list.

      For now, at least.

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