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Do you guys have some guidelines on when you'll use what I'll call "product snippets" like this shopify example

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vs when you use illustrations

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My guess is the more complicated your product, the more likely you'll just use an illustrations, as you won't be able to get your value proposition across in a product snippet? Any other thoughts/ideas?

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    Just as an extra point of reference possibly counteracting your guess at the end. This Slack landing page uses product snippets instead of illustrations even though it can be as complicated as Airtable. My guess is the choice is all about branding and what you want your "message" to be.
    – DasBeasto
    Sep 30, 2019 at 13:55

2 Answers 2

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I can't answer, but I really feel that this kind of issues goes directly to the A/B testing.

  • How many users clicks when they see a illustration?
  • How many users clicks when they see screenshots?

How many time they spend on the website when there are illustrations? In which case you get more downloads?

I mean, is it better a illustration than some screenshots? Maybe just depends on the user. "Ask" them if you can! :)

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    The answer is always "test it", but I was wondering if there was some underlying theory behind when one may or may not apply it.
    – A.com
    Sep 30, 2019 at 14:35
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I agree with Natalia that testing would be useful here. However, I feel like there's still a rule of thumb for your question. The main factor to consider here: What are you (is your company) aiming to achieve? You want to get potential users engaged in the website, which preferably leads them to using/buying your product.

With productivity software, this is difficult to achieve with screenshots since its purpose is to make a given work task more efficient (quicker, easier, more convenient etc.). The usage of colors and images is much less frequent than in fun and engaging B2C software. Therefore, it might be adviseable to convey this message ("we make your work easier") with an illustration instead of actual screenshots.

(Note, that this is only true for the landing page, to shape a first impression, because First impressions matter. When it comes to feature descriptions, documentation, etc. real screenshots are invaluable)

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