Editor’s note: This post was written by Scott Huntington, a graphic designer and blogger from Pennsylvania. Follow him on Twitter: @SMHuntington.
Not every product on the market can be glamorous, sexy and frequently shared on Pinterest. However, these products are still very necessary and important to millions of people. These industries exist to help companies or every day people accomplish goals such as maintaining healthy gardens, construction work and so forth.
Just because the product isn’t so glamorous doesn’t mean the company can afford to skimp on putting together a great design for their website. Often the look of the web page will help dictate web traffic and influence sales.
Here are seven great web designs that got it right, and some tips for what to do when you’re designing a site like these.
1. Construction Equipment – Holt
Heavy and dirty machinery is made sleek and appealing thanks to this award-winning web design used by Holt. The site features an attractive pop down menu, an image slider and even a video on the page to help customers get a better look at their products in action.
The site’s color scheme also ties into the company’s logo and is readily associated with Holt/Cat products. The font is used to maximum effect, including changes in color to emphasize points about the company and products. This is also a great example of using a dark background with light text. The scrolling website header is a great touch, too.
2. Air Conditioners – York
Air Conditioners aren’t the most exciting thing to look at, but that doesn’t mean they need a bland website. For York’s site, go to a specific area such as the residential section, and you’ll be dazzled by a menu that drops down in an animated fashion. The image scroller is also animated, featuring various pop up and pop down images that bring York’s website to life.
The color scheme also works, with the off-whites and blues both easily associated with the York logo and the coolness of an air conditioner. If you’re stuck on ideas of how to get started designing, the first thing to do is to narrow down the colors to match their logo. Once that’s done, the ideas start to flow.
3. EcoBoost Parts & Accessories – Spool Tuning
You probably won’t find pictures of a “Throw Shift Plate” or a “Sport Lowering Spring Set” on Pinterest. Those are things that Spool Tuning sells, and yet, none of them are on the home page of their site. Instead, they show what people really care about: the cars. One of my favorite quotes is “people don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole.” The folks at Spool Tuning know that people looking for car parts are obsessed with the finished product, not the springs and screws. They showcase large pictures of the cars with minimal text, giving customers a view of the experience they get after they’ve bought (and probably even forgotten about) their products.
4. Chainsaws and Trimmers – Echo
Yardwork can be tiring and tedious, but that doesn’t mean that the web design has to follow suit. What Echo’s United States-based company does well is convey the outdoor nature of their chainsaws, trimmers, blowers and others through the use of colors (browns and grays) and textures (a steel pattern featured as a background).
The best part about this site is the video they feature. It has some great slow-motion shots of the chainsaws in action, and features them as easy to use (another example of knowing your customers). Again, we’re shown the finished result of what you’ll get when you use their tools.
5. Explosive Wire and Training – Tripwire Ops
Tripwire does such a great job at making their site explode (pun intended) with action. They’re a perfect example of showing a product being used instead of a plain picture of the product. Think about it… what’s more exciting, a spool of wire, or a giant explosion? Obviously the giant explosion, but in order to get the explosion you have to buy the wire.
This is also a great example of appealing to your audience. This site is for men, and it lets you know. It makes a boring safety training session look like a must-go-to event. Would this site work if it were designed in pastels? Nope. Do some research on your audience before you start designing.
6. Insect and Weed Removal – Spectracide
Weeds and insects are the bane of every serious gardener’s existence, but bug-spary is not the most attractive thing to sell. Spectracide’s site frames them in front of beautiful lawns, another example of showing the end result instead of the actual product.
This is also a great example of a page where you can see it all without scrolling very much. The use of curved lines and shadows give a very special three-dimensional effect. The use of buttons at the bottom of the page to change the background image of the site is also very creative. The drop-down menu is nicely incorporated for simple navigation. They also put the very popular “personal pest finder” front and center, since this is what a customer would be looking for.
When designing sites like this, think about what the customer would really want, and don’t hide it.
7. Garbage Disposal – Insinkerator
Don’t let the Insinkerator’s minimalist design fool you. The website features a smart use of flash video which show their garbage disposal products in action.
The website is well organized and the links make it easy to get around the site and find exactly what you need.
If you ever thought that a conventional or unglamorous product is not best served by great design, then hopefully the above websites changed your mind.
No matter what the nature of a product, it’s important that it is showcased in the most attractive light. When it comes to website designs, the more attractive the layout, the better a company can maintain the interest of visitors. These website visitors may then decide to become customers.
Author: Noemi Twigg
Noemi is a freelance writer/editor and geek round the clock. You can follow her on Twitter @noemiruth.