Nest is a company that makes revolutionary digital systems for the smart home. The company started out making a smart thermostat but has expanded the lineup to include home alarms, sensors, and other gadgets to automate the home. The Nest website design lets a user virtually experience the connected home and find products for their house. It uses video, product images and walkthroughs of the various Nest products to engage the user.
At the bottom of the homepage, a slideshow lets a user quickly leaf through recent Nest news. The slideshow has items like product updates as well as Nest's partnership announcements.
The bottom of the page is not the most important real estate, however, the slideshow catches attention. If a user has ignored all the products and menu items at the top, they might be on the verge of leaving the site.
The designers, however, create interactive engagement with the user through the slideshow. Rather than make the slides scroll automatically, the user has to actively click to see the next items. It is an optional slideshow but it serves to offer the user different perspectives on Nest the company.
The focus is no longer just on the products, but on the company's identity. For example, partnerships with Google, who acquired Nest in 2014, reveal the company's identity as a cutting-edge tech brand. A user can quickly see that Nest associates with some of the best companies in home technology.
Presenting actual products in the forefront, the website uses a simple color palette. The Nest logo is presented on the top left of pages in a subtle gray font. Product names, like the Nest Hello doorbell, are presented in a giant white font that focuses attention on them.
They are greeted with big bold typography that announces Nest's products. The typography around the website and the color scheme work well together. The site uses mostly white, blue, and black, as well as shades of gray. The effect of these sans-serif fonts is engaging and modern. The site's typography caters to a professional demographic, which comprises the bulk of Nest's buyers. In addition, the choice of language and imagery around the site is friendly yet authoritative.
On individual product pages, the website design uses giant hero images. This helps show the product in use in a real-life environment. In addition, the images are given in high-definition and in full width across the screen. The focus is squarely on the attributes of the product. By choosing to show images of people and rooms, the pictures give the usage context. A user can envision the product in use at their own house.
The rooms and people look like the users they stand in for and their own homes. The choice of images enhances a user's connection to the site. They come away with the impression that Nest understands them at a deeper level.
By making the user the subject of the images, Nest increases the user's identification with the brand. The technology goes from abstract technical descriptions to simple pictures, allowing the user can therefore quickly see how the product will improve their own home.
The top menu on the website lets a user quickly find some of the most popular Nest products. It uses a product preview with icons when a user hovers over the "Cameras" and "Thermostat" items. All a user has to do is hover over either of these. From under the menu item will slide a row of images of the most iconic products in these categories. The user is thus able to rapidly shop for Nest cameras and thermostats.
Rather than do a search for the products, with a single click, the user can now jump to the product page. This design choice on the main menu creates convenience for the shopper who knows what they want. If they would rather see what else is on offer, they can click through the menu items or other products on landing pages. The previews are not available for all product types, however, just the most important ones. This lets the website menu remain simple and free of overcrowding.
For example, the Nest Protect page uses animation of the smoke alarm to illustrate how it works. However, subtle animation draws attention to the smoke detector and alarm. There's a button that plays audio on click. The walkthrough attached to the button gives a user cues. They can click on the button and discover the features of the Nest Protect system. The user can see that, unlike normal smoke alarms, the Nest Protect is also smart. It not only sounds an alarm in case of a fire, but warns the user it is about to play the alarm. The human voice that alerts a user before the alarm rings betters user experience, proving Nest is a step up from its competitors.
Nest's website design illustrates that life with the company's products is a cool, fun, user-friendly experience. Through interactive experiences, video, and audio, Nest’s website presents a solid template for effective e-commerce web design.
In addition to the images that show the products in use, the website design also makes use of video. Video on the Nest Hello landing page, for example, shows how the product works and makes a compelling sales case.
The video begins to play automatically once the page loads, requiring no input from the user. What looks like a simple giant image morphs into a playful video. The video shows scenes of an actual doorstep. The actors in the video look like normal people resembling the user's own neighbors, friends, and family. Through the video, the user can see a simulation of real-life product use of the Nest Hello. They gain an appreciation for how it allows monitoring of their doorbell and creates an opportunity for socialization. Their family and friends will think the Nest Hello is cool. The video places the spotlight on the product and makes it the center of attention.