In episode 12 of Designing Growth, Perry and Sam review a list of web design tips & trends and share their personal opinions on whether they like or dislike them. Along the way, they gain insight into what design preferences they each share and others they do not, as well as brainstorm a new method for determining when to capitalize words in website headlines.
[Designing Growth introduction plays]
Sam Chlebowski: [00:00:00] Happy Thursday everybody, and welcome back to Designing Growth. Perry is back with me here this week, and we’re gonna switch things up a little bit. We normally on this show talk about business growth, tips for creative professionals, designers, website developers, We wanted to do something fun and just switch it up for a special episode, and because we know that a lot of the people who listen to this show are web designers themselves, we wanted to do is.
Talk about some of the latest tips in website design and give our thoughts on them. This episode won’t be set in stone design tips, but more of a general sense of, Hey, here’s how we feel about this. With limited to no explanation. with that.
Perry, how you doing today?
Perry Rosenbloom: I’m doing great, man. just pre-show here. We were talking about, Celsius, [00:01:00] uh, these drinks and how, you know, it’s like the, uh, the healthier version of Red Bull. I feel like it gives me wings anytime I drink one, my wife Allison was up, for a bachelorette party and I’m solo with the kids, she comes back and finds a Celsius on the nightstand.
She’s like, Dude, what were you doing? Were you drinking one of those like right before bed? I’m like, No. I just told the boys I needed a few minutes so I can get my wings and get back to be a dad here.
Sam Chlebowski: dad life. I love it. You need that little pep in your step sometimes to keep up with the kids. I, uh, I’ll be right there with you soon.
Perry Rosenbloom: really looking forward to you joining the, uh, the dad crew here with a little kowski coming on the
Sam Chlebowski: I know January, we are excited. It’s coming up so incredibly fast, but couldn’t be happier and couldn’t be more excited. it’s gonna be a journey.
Perry Rosenbloom: Yeah. A sleepless one.
Sam Chlebowski: Yeah, that’ll
Perry Rosenbloom: No, no, it’s great. It’s great. Zach, our co-founder and I just like talking smack about how little sleep we got for, you know, five years of our lives and welcoming [00:02:00] Sam into that, that club here.
Sam Chlebowski: Yeah, I’m the type of person though where I’m so stubborn that even if I’m not sleeping, which I probably won’t be, and so tired, you’ll never see it.
Perry Rosenbloom: I was just thinking, we’ll, we’ll be able to come back to this episode a year from now and we’ll have to do a side by side just to see how deep the bags under your eyes are
Sam Chlebowski: Yeah. Uh, the potential that this episode could, age like milk. So we’ll see.
Perry Rosenbloom: Well, let’s dive into some design trends. Huh?
Sam Chlebowski: Yeah, let’s do it. And maybe Perry first, it’s been a fun couple of weeks here at motion io. What’s new? Could you just give us like the brief headline update?
Perry Rosenbloom: asking me to give anything in a brief condensed format is never a good idea, but I will do my best.
Sam Chlebowski: it’s the New Yorker in ya.
Perry Rosenbloom: The New Yorker in me. Yeah. the brief headline. Uh, we are in pre MVP launch here. We’re doing demos with folks, walking them through what we’ve built, [00:03:00] and kind of just getting feedback on what we’ve done to get a sense of. Hey, is this something you find useful or not? We have another nine scheduled over the next, you know, week and change. Uh, and just super excited to, to get this in front of people, get some feedback and figure out what we need to do to make this a really valuable tool for folks.
Sam Chlebowski: And it’s been especially impactful for me on the couple of demos we’ve had so far at Perry when we’re able to show them the actual product and this sort of pre MVP that we’re in and what it looks like and the functionality. It’s seemed to bring up new ideas and new things that we hadn’t thought about before.
So it’s been so immensely helpful to hear from the folks that. Gonna be hopefully using this product when it launches,
Perry Rosenbloom: 100%. And so if you’re listening to this and thinking, I’d love to get my hands on it and see what, what the folks over at Motion are doing, drop us a line, let us know. We’d love to give you a demo of, of the pre MVP and, and get your take, and get your feedback and, you know, build this out into being, uh, a [00:04:00] phenomenal tool that, that you all love.
Sam Chlebowski: Absolutely. Yeah, and like Perry said, go on our website. Hit that contact form. Sign up for our launch list, and we’ll be in touch With that, it is time to move into design trends. I’m really excited about hearing your thoughts on these, Perry. So what I’ve done is before the episode, I went ahead and compiled things that I’ve been seeing as design trends, but also.
looking at various blogs and what they were saying was trending. Right now, I’ve used a couple of these trends in the various like landing pages and things that I’ve built for motion.io so far, and interested to hear that Now, if in hindsight you disagree with some of these things.
Perry Rosenbloom: Well, uh, we’ll find out and you’re gonna give your take as well, right?
Sam Chlebowski: Yeah, I’ll ask you about the trend first and then you can give your take and then I’ll give.
Perry Rosenbloom: Major caveat. Um, I know that I ran a design agency with like 30 employees and we are building [00:05:00] a tool for people who design stuff, but I am a terrible designer. Uh, so that, that’s a major caveat here. I love working with designers and I love being around designers and the creative energy that they bring, but me, like I am much more of a spreadsheet and numbers guy, uh, when it comes to design, apparently I’m also a little colorblind.
so, so let’s keep that in mind as we’re working our way through this list here.
Sam Chlebowski: Oh yeah. I mean, same for me. I hadn’t at Brighter Vision, I was, you had hired me as a WordPress developer and designer of those sites there. But it had been, you know, at this point, like almost four or five years since I had designed a site, until I started building our motion site and then some of our landing pages.
So I’m a little bit rusty too. So if you
Perry Rosenbloom: Uh, I think you, I think you still got it, man. Uh, those landing pages came out
Sam Chlebowski: Well, thank you. And, but if anybody has, uh, you know, tips and you agree or disagree, let us know because, you know, like we said, we don’t have all the answers. So, with that [00:06:00] first question, Perry, and first trend that we’re gonna cover, changing the color in one line of a headline on a website.
Perry Rosenbloom: All right. Um, I hate it. . I’m not a fan of that at all. Uh, it could be like the example that you, you put in the doc for me to look at. I just really don’t like, so, you know, I’ll put that out there, but I, I am not a fan of that.
Sam Chlebowski: Fair enough. And this example for people listening to this episode, not watching it on YouTube, what it says is make your website better, period. That’s in blue. And then under that, it says instantly and that’s in green.
Perry Rosenbloom: Really ugly green as well.
Sam Chlebowski: I wanted to start with this, Perry, because I had done this on a couple [00:07:00] places on our motion.io website, and it’s interesting to hear your thoughts now because you didn’t disagree at the time,
Perry Rosenbloom: I, I liked it back then.
Sam Chlebowski: I think you did. You didn’t at least say, Hey, I don’t like this.
Perry Rosenbloom: Fair enough. it could be that the colors and the font are just better. Um, but yeah, I mean, this example right now, I’m just like, maybe it’s also the language, like my eyes are instantly drawn to the word instantly, and I don’t know, that’s not really a good word, I don’t think in, in like marketing copy, like.
What’s the benefit of anything? Being instant when you’re trying to improve something, Like it’s just not possible. Um, but from a design perspective, not crazy about
Sam Chlebowski: I like it, but it’s all contextual for me. It works in. Some headlines where you’re highlighting certain words, but it doesn’t work in other places. I think it works [00:08:00] well when you can read the words by themselves and they still have context. You can read the words in a different color by themselves and they still have context.
Perry Rosenbloom: So you wanna see it all in one sentence. You don’t wanna see sentence one, be one color, and then sentence two be another, potentially,
Sam Chlebowski: Yeah, I’m ok.
Perry Rosenbloom: if that second sentence is just a single
Sam Chlebowski: Exactly. I’m okay with highlighting certain words in a, in one sentence that could stand.
Perry Rosenbloom: Fair enough.
Sam Chlebowski: So we’re gonna keep the copy questions rolling. This is another one that I know that there’s a lot of back and forth on, . Capitalizing all words in a headline versus capitalizing just the first letter in a.
Perry Rosenbloom: So we talked about this internally a lot. my take was, I liked all of the words being capitalized. I think it could be, uh, a reflection of what is the copy? I feel like if a headline is just fricking [00:09:00] spot on and just a killer headline, capitalize every single word, but like, it’s gotta be like three words. If you have a headline that’s like, you know, 4, 5, 6 words, like no, no, no, you shouldn’t be capitalizing all of it. Um, so that, that, that might be what my current, uh, take is on this as it’s evolved over the last, uh, what is it week that we’ve been, kicking that idea around with our website,
Sam Chlebowski: it has, and it’s interesting what you say about the length of the headline, because now that I think about it, I agree with you that I think if you have a three word headline that can stand on itself, it probably makes sense to capitalize every word. On the flip side, if I think three words, is that cutoff for me?
Once you go longer than three words, I’m capitalized. The first letter. The rest after that are under case.
Perry Rosenbloom: You know, if you have three words the first word being capitalized and the other two not, I feel like that might look a little funny as well. I’m not sure though.
Sam Chlebowski: I agree. One of the things that I struggle with [00:10:00] too are the different styles of capitalization too.
I like to minimize that confusion by capitalizing either the first word and nothing after that, or everything all at once.
Perry Rosenbloom: With that kind of stuff. I’m like, All right, Grammarly, what are you telling me to do here? Let’s, let’s roll with you,
Sam Chlebowski: I know that is my crutch. A lot of times I’m like, What do you say is right, Grammarly? Because if you think it’s right, nobody else can realistically refute me.
Perry Rosenbloom: that is a great point there.
Sam Chlebowski: I love it. So with that, what do you think about periods in headlines? Yay. Your nay na.
Perry Rosenbloom: Oh, na
Sam Chlebowski: I stick to my rule that I just created for myself. Uh, for the last question, that more than four words, and if it is a complete sentence, a period can work in a
Perry Rosenbloom: there we go. Maybe we’ve like discovered something or, or maybe this is something people have already discovered and we’re just discovering it now, but there might be two sets of rules for headlines if it’s [00:11:00] three words versus more than three words.
Sam Chlebowski: Huh?
Perry Rosenbloom: Like, I, I just wonder like, like maybe we need to do a little more research into this and find out what the actual trends are.
Like how many headlines are three words, How many are four words or more? If it’s three words, how many of them are all capitalized versus how many just have the first word? Are there periods or not? And, and just kind like dive into that. I’d love to see a study on that. Cause maybe, maybe we’re not saying I, I kind of.
Probably there’s already a study out there like this that we’ve just missed, and there’s probably like standard, design styles for this. But if there’s not, I feel like we need to figure out what is happening in the world out there with three word headlines versus four plus word headlines.
Sam Chlebowski: I would love to see. I have been using this site that’s been awesome called SAS landing page.com. That shows you all of the examples of like the leading sites right now. It’s an awesome resource if you are building a website for like a technology company or something like that and need some inspiration.[00:12:00]
I was looking at headlines on there. It was all over the place. There was not any type of style that tied these sites together. It was companies that were still technology but very different from one another. And yeah, there was nothing consistent between them.
So maybe we need to do that in the future. I don’t know when we’re gonna find the time, but to do that study ourselves.
Perry Rosenbloom: what I was just doing here was pulling up SAS landing page, I got, more than four, all lowercase, no period. More than four, all lowercase width period. More than four, all lowercase period.
Like. Maybe just people aren’t able to, to write a three word headline. These are all more than four. the shortest I’m seeing is MailChimp, most of these are like five plus, but MailChimp is four words, turn emails into revenue. Awesome. Headline ish, I think, um, all capitalized except into and no period.
So I just think that there is no. Standardization of [00:13:00] this. Oh, here’s one that’s three words. it’s from Zapier and it looks like they changed their third word. It’s automate your possibilities. there is no period and it’s, and only the first word is capitalized.
Sam Chlebowski: Hmm, Interesting. So this actually segues into the next trend I want to cover, which is minimalist design. And before I ask your take on it, I want to give my take that I kind of just thought of. I don’t wanna let it slip away that I think people are doing longer headlines because the rest of their page is so minimal.
Perry Rosenbloom: So this is me. Showing some, uh, as our old clients who were therapists would say, showing a little bit of vulnerability here. I wouldn’t know the difference between minimalist design and like design , you know, perfectly honest. , I know when something looks good to me, I know when it doesn’t.
Sam Chlebowski: So I looked into clarification before this for the episode to make sure I knew what we were talking about, because I didn’t really
Perry Rosenbloom: can’t share that with me
Sam Chlebowski: I didn’t know either. [00:14:00] I know really baited you into that moment of vulnerability. I’m sorry. Here’s me being vulnerable too.
So minimalist design in a website sense means that, For every section, there are no more than a couple sentences, maybe like a single paragraph, and there is a lot of white space or you know, margin padding between sections.
Perry Rosenbloom: I see a lot of SAS websites, And then I’ve also seen a lot of therapist websites, tens of thousands of them. So I’m trying to think of things like outside of those two markets, now a lot of B to C websites are focused on get the lead, get the lead, get the lead.
My feeling is that if I am arriving on a website and, and I’m the consumer and let’s say it’s a service provider of some kind, I feel like I would be more likely to contact them if I wasn’t getting, bombarded [00:15:00] with. Contact me, contact me, contact me. Here’s a coupon code. Here’s this. You have to, Oh, don’t, don’t leave.
You have to contact me. So I think that minimalist design for B to C websites would be a good thing for the internet
Sam Chlebowski: I would agree with that. I would, I think it makes a lot of sense in that B2C scenario for service providers. On the other hand, and this still could be a minimalist website, but what I want to do, what I do wanna see there for like a service based website are pricing. Here’s how you get in touch, and I want those two things to be super.
Perry Rosenbloom: Yeah, absolutely that. Pricing, how you get in touch. That’s all it needs to be in your menu, maybe services too, depending on what you’re doing.
Sam Chlebowski: This isn’t so much as a trend of just me asking your take on it. So competitor charts where you have your services and what your competitors do, what they offer, what types of businesses do they make sense for, and what types of businesses do they not make Sense.
Perry Rosenbloom: I think they pretty much only make [00:16:00] sense for, B2B SAS
Sam Chlebowski: Mm-hmm.
Perry Rosenbloom: Doesn’t mean I like ’em. Uh,
Sam Chlebowski: why not?
Perry Rosenbloom: Because there’s, it’s always outdated, like, and it’s not like, it’s generally not accurate. I remember in the early days of Brighter Vision, going to a conference and having one of those things on a, on a brochure. And our biggest competitor got all mad at us and all upset. And they’re like, We actually have mobile.
Cause they didn’t have mobile responsive websites. And like, we actually have mobile responsive websites now. This is inaccurate. We just launched mobile website responsive websites a month ago. We’re like, All right, and So they like made us go through with a marker and.
Cross it out on every single brochure. instead of something like that, I’d rather see what you do really. Like, show me what you do in an amazing way. You have to assume that I am an educated user coming to your website. Highlight who you are. N don’t necessarily highlight who you are in comparison to your competitor. Cause I’m gonna go look at your competitor [00:17:00] website too and figure out the differences anyways,
Sam Chlebowski: I completely agree with your take there. I think that the problem with competitor charts is, like you said, A lot of times the person reading them is not gonna believe that they are. Authentic. They’re always gonna take that with a grain of salt and look out, out information elsewhere. They’re gonna look for reviews, they’re gonna speak to colleagues, They’re gonna seek out information that’s not on your website to make that comparison.
Perry Rosenbloom: I feel like we’ve been pretty negative here. Let, let’s talk about something we love though. something I love about how design trends have shifted, is I really, really love. A well composed single page website, you get a full experience scrolling through the site. And then when you get to that footer, there are like anchor links that can take you back up further up the website. or it could be a Multipage website, but like a. Engaging scrollable homepage that just [00:18:00] like brings me in and, and brings me into what the, the company is or the person is and what they do. And I feel like that’s a really great trend, uh, especially on like, the B to C side, uh, of things over the last, you know, 3, 4, 5 years here.
I think Squarespace really pushed that, uh, more than other folks.
Sam Chlebowski: Yeah. Yeah, I, I agree. It’s something that I really like as well. Just super clean design. You can do the things that you need to get the information you need, and nothing, you don’t. Another thing that I really like that becomes more and more common every single day is, Product shots and more generally videos and gifts.
I love stuff like that. If you have a product, I wanna see how you use it even if you have a service based company. I think what can be really cool is like a gift of, you know, your team on the about page. you guys kind of out in the world or you know, working on projects is really cool for me to [00:19:00] see cuz it gives you insight into who you are as a company and allows you to express yourself. And I think the more that you can do that, the better. And when you’re using video to showcase a product that is perfect, like I wanna be able to watch a 32nd gift and know exactly what this does.
Perry Rosenbloom: You know, one thing I think that, uh, is a really great opportunity for folks out there in agencies, especially if you work in a local geographic area primarily, um, and with folks that do B to C uh, kind of businesses is kind of revolutionizing. The social proof revolutionizing how folks are going about testimonials.
So whether it is, you know, you know, a short little jiff of a testimonial sound or a short little video clip, or in a more elaborate video that kind of like showcases who you are and, you know, gives that social proof in a, in a better way than just like, A person’s face and a short little quote [00:20:00] about something they said that was nice about you.
I think that’s a really great opportunity. You can do some upsells there, especially if you’re doing the videography yourself. Like, Hey, our clients, you know, you can figure out what kind of improvement in conversion rate they see. It’s like, Hey, if you add this into your package, you’ll see this massive improvement in conversion rate.
And that’s gonna, that, that’s why you know, it costs, you know, 10, $15,000 to have, a professional, uh, testimonials video made, so I think that’s a, a good opportunity there for folks as well.
Sam Chlebowski: And I think it’s a powerful way to do social proof. I’ve also seen people repurposing TikTok videos to put them in like the bottom right hand corner of a landing page. Something I really thought was interesting.
Yeah, people who claim that it can really dramatically increase conversions.
Perry Rosenbloom: I like that idea,
Sam Chlebowski: So cool. I’m glad we got to end on some things that we really like and some things that we think are working well. You know, take this episode with a grain of salt. We’re just kind of given our feeling on, you know, what we think. Let us know if you disagree with some of these things.
Let us know if you have best practices for capitalization and [00:21:00] headlines. Uh, we’d love to.
Perry Rosenbloom: Well, uh, Sam, we, we, we gotta wrap things up with, uh, the best food we’ve eaten this week, right? Or over the last, Yeah, I guess week. All right. Um, I’ll go first on this one. so my wife was out of town this weekend and it was just me and the kids and we went out to see Minions Rise of Grew, which was terrible.
I was so terrible. It was awful. Just absolutely awful. But we were the only people in the, Maybe that’s why we were the only people in the theater, which was pretty cool. but anyways, we come back and we’re all just so tired and like ate a lot popcorn and stuff, but we need like something nutritious. I hadn’t done this in so long.
I just went out and bought like, you know, two pounds of shrimp threw like salt, pepper, garlic on them and threw ’em on a cast iron and just cooked them with some broccoli on the side and it was like a five minute meal that was just like 10 stars. Fricking loved it.
Sam Chlebowski: I love it. I love shrimp. So good. Haven’t eaten a lot of shrimp lately. That’s a good reminder for me. The best [00:22:00] thing on my end, I have been getting. dangerously into making broths and stock. the last two weekends, I’ve been making this stock where I, buy a rotisserie chicken, break it down, throw it in, bunch of celery, bunch of carrots, onion, garlic.
But the trick that I’ve learned from a Italian man on the internet is you gotta take therin of your Parmesan. That you have after you get a piece of Parmesan and throw that rhyme in with your stock when you first start cooking.
Perry Rosenbloom: Huh? It levels it
Sam Chlebowski: Oh, big time. It gives you the, like this meaty, like delicious flavor. Uh,
Perry Rosenbloom: Wow. I am excited to try that. Cause I, I mean, I make a whole chicken every Sunday just about, and then, you know, from that carcass, I’ll make a stock from that carcass to the last, for the full week. So I’m excited to try this Parmesan rhyme trick that, that sounds fantastic.
Sam Chlebowski: you heard it here. Save your Parmesan rhymes. They are amazing for stock.[00:23:00]
Perry Rosenbloom: Awesome. Well, on that note, should we wrap things up
Sam Chlebowski: let’s do it. Perry, thanks so much for joining us. Thank you everybody for listening. As a friendly reminder, if you wanna learn more about what we’re [email protected], head to our [email protected] and sign up for our launch list. You can just click the button right up in the header. Don’t know if that’s best practice or not.
Perry Rosenbloom: I think it is
Sam Chlebowski: But anyways, thanks for listening everybody, take care.