Does Your Product Statement Make a Great First Impression?
46% of website visitors claim a ‘lack of message’ will cause them to leave. People abandon ship when they don’t understand the value a product or service would bring them.
So this brings up the question - regardless of its simplicity or complexity, how would you craft a product statement that will motivate your customers to take action? A statement that absolutely nails their first impression.
Do it with the KISS
Back in the 1970s, Kelly Johnson, an aircraft engineer at Lockheed grew frustrated with the complexity of jet aircraft he was tasked to design. With a handful of tools at their disposal, he challenged his design engineers to keep their blueprints simple, so that the aircraft they were designing could be repaired by an average mechanic, even under severe combat conditions.
“Keep it simple silly” was born, and from then on, K.I.S.S has found its way to across design fundamentals, including product and UX design.
The challenge of applying the K.I.S.S approach to product statements is the constraints of user variability. How do you address the variety of use cases, that of users and the actions they perform with your product, in a single, simple statement?
We take a close look at some of the North-Star companies in the industry who really deliver the KISS in their product statement.
When Kelly Johnson demanded simplicity in design, it was for good reason. Simplicity makes understanding easier. While designing your product statement find answers to three questions,
What do users get from the product? Why should they use it? What can they do with it?
Waze is used by people who want to keep an eye on traffic and pick the quickest route to commute. Here is how they picked their product statement,
What do the users get? Best route.
Why should they use it? It's in real time
What can they do with it? In addition to picking the best route, they contribute to reporting traffic as ‘fellow drivers’.
Leave out the marketing speak while answering these simple questions. There is nothing overly complicated to decipher. Waze breaks it down in a single line of copy. WeTransfer also takes the KISS route, as visitors are greeted with three simple bullet points,
What do the users get? An easy-to-use file sharing platform.
Why should they use it? It’s free (Up to 2GB which is mentioned in certain copy variants)
What can they do with it? Exchange files with no registration involved.
Straight into Action
Can your product statement get your user to dive straight into action? To interact with your product and achieve results? Airbnb and OpenTable are great examples of such simple, minimal and actionable one-liners.
Airbnb is not just about finding amazing hosts and unique accommodations. Their opening line says so much more about their broad goal - curating unique experiences and extraordinary journeys, from things to do and places to stay. Fresh off their recent launch of Adventures, and current offering on Experiences, Airbnb’s product statement is a great single-line product summary.
Open Table delivers a simple promise - it allows you to book tables, for any occasion. What is great about their product statement is the path of emotional resonance it takes. To be able to reserve a table for two for a romantic date, or six for a family dinner resonates personally to anyone looking to celebrate an occasion. Great product statement, right there!
What happens when marketing speak comes in the way of your product statement?
Rather than delivering a healthy, objective product statement, there are brands that still weigh in their marketing requirements. This usually revolves around SEO driven copy armed with keywords, which does limp justice to the unique selling point of the product. A few companies like JIRA go down this route:
The team at Jira is aware that only a niche group, that of engineering teams, are their customers, their patrons, and their potential users. So they take the economic route and prefer to side with their marketing team on this one.
Write the customer story backward.
What is the single most important thing your users achieve by using your product? The team behind Revue, an editorial newsletter tool from The Netherlands, know very well that their most active users and potential future users value a loyal audience.
These are people who are looking for faithful readers, who will bring them great open and click-through rates. So they simply rolled with it, big and bold!
Simplify, simplify, simplify!
Arriving at your powerful, single-line statement could take some iteration. This is because, in the beginning, everything your product does feels important. As the rules of UX writing stipulate, it is necessary to be uncomfortably concise.
At Hansel, we pride ourselves on being the world’s first no-code user drop-off management solution. How did we arrive at our product statement?
With considerable iteration, it was the microscopic study of what our product-map platform was solving that brought us our answer - our users, most of whom are product managers, were addressing drop-offs at key product funnels by nudging users towards conversions and engagement. And voila!
Connect the dots
Some brands love to be storytellers. By stitching up a quick, short story, they encourage their visitors to connect dots. Doing this brings recall value and if done right, makes users feel empowered (from using the product).
Feedly is a news aggregator platform that believes that knowledge is power. The team at Feedly liken their well-read users to leaders - who stay on top of topics of their interest.
In the age of micro-copy, an industry standard of two short paragraphs (usually followed by a call-to-action) is maintained. However, some brands don’t mind helping themselves to a third or a fourth, going into a brief-depth of what their products do.
The team at MyFitnessPal, a calorie-tracker, know that people coming to their site have fitness on their mind, regardless of whether it is eating clean, watching their weight or shedding a couple of pounds. They allow themselves a longer copy, to set the context about what users can do with their meal-tracker.
UX writing is tricky! Particularly to set the first and right impression with a potential future user. 94% of first impressions are UX related - the copy, the aesthetics. All of it. A great first impression brings with it a value of perception. And this can be achieved if you allow your potential user to understand what he or she is set to achieve with your product.
A simple product statement that works is like a great cold-open. It hooks a first time visitor, who’s looking for answers, who’s coming to you with a problem to solve.
And this is where you need to keep it simple - as silly as it sounds, there is no substitute to clean, straight-to-the-point UX writing, that gives the answer a user is looking for. And maybe that’s why it’s a great idea to welcome your website visitor with the K.I.S.S!
As the world's first user drop-off management platform, we help create impactful nudges within products, for the right user, at the right moment, to take the right action. Click here to know more about Hansel.