Target audience: Individual entrepreneurs, small and midsize businesses
Key Web executive: Daniel Weinand, chief design officer
No. of people working on the site: 3
Last major redesign: September 2011
No. of pages on the site: 40
Web developer: In-house
Online ecommerce engine Shopify's old site design had one main focus—getting people to sign up. Before this month, that process took about four minutes from start to finish. The newest iteration of the website has the same goal, with one main difference: Making the sign-up process easier and faster, under a minute. “The new sign-up has three elements: What do you want your URL to be; what's your email; and what's your password? That new sign-up will be accessible from wherever you are on the site,” said Daniel Weinand, the company's chief design officer.
From a design standpoint, the site's new look is more modern, with a black and white motif, a big change from the greener, busier format of the previous layout. “The green is still part of our branding, but we wanted to make more judicious use of it,” Weinand said. The sign-up form is right on the main home page, as well as on every content page.
Since most of the site's visitors find Shopify by searching for the company name, the design team decided it still needed to explain what the service does, but more efficiently. To that end, the site explains, step-by-step, what Shopify does and how users can create a store. This meant changing up the presentation mode, swapping “lots of text” for videos and focusing on simple, action-driven navigation.
A few things haven't changed, though. For example, the use of current customer logos and reviews remain, Weinand said. “The video and logos are really important to give our visitors confidence in our product. We have an eclectic mix of clients; we want to show we have large manufacturers like GE and smaller companies like [photographer] Annie Leibovitz to show we have the power to scale with a business.” The pricing model has also stayed the same; it's visible, transparent and available right from the home page, except now it's simply "Pricing' instead of "Pricing and sign-up.' “There won't be any question where to click. The new design makes for very little eye movement,” Weinand said.
Expert commentary: “The site tells people what they can do there—create an online store—right from the start. Pricing is visible and easy to find. It has nice credibility from excerpts and customer comments, and there are no drop-down menus, so you can get where you need to go quickly,” said Kelly Franznick, CEO at Blink.