Software Websites: Box Shots?

25 Feb 2009 - 9:33pm
5 years ago
3 replies
763 reads
Sabina S.
2009

Imagine you design Websites for software products. Your company's
products are compelling and well designed. What do you put on your
Website homepage? How do you fulfill your mission of distinguishing
your product suite when some of your products are similar?

To add more context, imagine you know that many of your customers
will download the software on the spot when they visit your site. A
few will order physical copies.

The defacto standard seems to be box shots -- thumbnail images of the
box the software comes in. Is that how you would approach the design?
Why? Why not? What else would you do or what would you do
differently? Why?

Comments

26 Feb 2009 - 3:25am
Eirik Midttun
2009

You are saying the products are compelling. I think the best approach
is to answer the question: Why are the compelling? And then: How do
you illustrate that? Of all things, showing a picture of nice box
must be clearly wrong. (Unless the customer collects boxes)

I think the answer depends on the product. To add to some of the
already good suggestions:
- If it's productivity show what you can produce. Or what you can do
within a certain time or level of training.
- If it's experince mayby story telling is a good way to start

I got a really nice DVD box from Apple yesterday. The first time I
saw it I had it in my hands.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=39255

26 Feb 2009 - 1:11pm
Matthew Ventre
2008

The above ideas are fantastic. I'd also add that you could show
common tasks and goals and associate them with the appropriate
software package. Users purchase software to solve a problem - give
them some examples of problems they can solve with each of your
products.

This article by 37signals highlights this idea:

http://www.37signals.com/svn/posts/1582-design-in-progress-choosing-the-right-product

37signals, however, is in search of a new design for this process
(i.e. software feature charts are out) but you probably don't need
to reinvent the wheel, just make it easy to understand.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=39255

27 Feb 2009 - 4:43pm
Elana Glazer
2009

IMHO, mint.com's homepage does a few things that make it a compelling
and convincing screen:

- Tabs allow users to learn more about various site features without
leaving the page
- Features and benefits are displayed visually, showing the actual
product
- The Sign Up CTA remains consistent in all tabs
- Lists 4 benefits in a personal and meaningful manner by talking to
different audience needs. All 4 benefits lead to a different reason
on the "why use mint" page.

Chapter 4 in Joshua Porters "Designing for the Social Web"
addresses this type of content as well.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=39255

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