Tesla is a company for lovers of cars and cutting-edge technology. Iconic founder Elon Musk has made it his mission to change the world. His companies range from space exploration to solar power generation. With Tesla, the mission is to make the world’s transportation more sustainable.
When it comes to its website design, Tesla chose to let the cars speak for themselves. As soon as you land on the homepage, a fullscreen video automatically plays. It immerses the visitor in an engaging video of Tesla's vehicles driving in the countryside. The video, like the rest of the website, loads very fast, creating a smooth user experience.
The spotlight is firmly on the company's products, such as the Model S and Model X. The countryside in which the video is shot creates a feeling of elegance. There are shots of an urban background by a giant bridge, sights familiar to the user.
On some individual product pages, the same videography technique is used to showcase individual car models.
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The Tesla web design uses a menu at the top with very few items. It removes the multitude of corporate topics that the website might convey about Tesla as a company. Instead, the menu features mostly just the company's cars. These are:
The user can, therefore, quickly explore the company's electric cars. This works well with the product video on the front page to promote the cars themselves.
Even if a user was looking for details about Tesla the company, the menu makes it hard to ignore the cars. They are there in block capital letters, in large font, on the top of the page. The menu, however, is nicely constructed, with a smooth, flat design. The bold, uppercase typography makes the car items unmissable.
Given the importance of these products to Tesla's brand, this is a good move to promote inventory. The thoughtful menu items make it easy for consumers to see the cars and engage with them.
The pages for individual Tesla car models deal with car safety up front. Tesla recognizes that car safety is a primary concern for buyers. For example, the 5-star safety rating of the Model X appears first as you take in the page from left to right. An auto-playing video of the model gives you a comprehensive view of the car.
The model page also gives you stats about the overall rating of the car, bolstering its appeal. For instance, on the left-hand side, you can view that the Model X has a 5-star rating for the following aspects:
Pointing to the ratings in this way helps a user really appreciate the safety effort that Tesla has put into the car behind the scenes. Further on down the page, you can view the basic body structure of the Model X, along with critical impact areas.
Because range is an important focus for electric vehicle customers, the page features a map on the right that shows you the range of the car. You can see, for example, that the Model X can travel from Lake Tahoe to Berkeley in a single commute. A picturesque video of the commute shows once again the elegance of the ride. This video goes beyond dealing with range to showing the user the pleasure of driving a Model X.
An animation shows you the futuristic self-driving technology of the Model X. From above, you can see its 360-degree vision around the car. The animation shows you how the Model X navigates traffic and is able to drive itself. Blue and orange shading emphasizes the radar range so you can see how well the autonomous driving system can anticipate obstacles.
After impressing the visitor with these close-up views of the car, the next step of the funnel is to show the user cold, hard facts. These are the rational reasons why a user would opt for the Model X, for example, over any other car. A sleek black table next to an image of the Model X summarizes the car’s technical specs. It lets the user know that the Model X accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds. This is just as fast as, say, a Ferrari 488, or comparable to a McLaren 12C.
This shreds the image of electric vehicles as slower than gas engine vehicles. Other specs tell the story of the car’s expansive seating ability, space, cargo carrying ability, and other features. The page closes out with a CTA to “ORDER NOW,” which is a next step well-supported with the exposition on the car’s unique strengths earlier on the page.
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In addition to menu items that lead to the cars, calls to action are utilized on the website. Their use in the mid-level section on the homepage is hard to miss.
The website separates user intent. After a user views the video and explores the cars, the next logical step is to proceed further. Whereas Tesla could bombard the user with more technical product data, they skip ahead. The user is now confronted with CTAs that call them to:
These block capital CTAs are, again, very authoritative. They are also conveniently placed where a user just clicks on them naturally, even if it's not what they came for. As a result, they find themselves arranging a Tesla test drive. If they are on the page, they clearly would like one anyway. It's only, they might not have planned to test it out this week or the next.
The site uses CTAs repeatedly through the site to optimize the customer conversion funnel. CTAs start with higher-level questions and go more in-depth as you scroll. The frictionless web design draws the user in and helps them make up their mind. The options are presented to them in a very accessible way which shows the power of good web design for business.
In addition, Tesla takes the interactive experience up a notch with the car design pages. You are able to design your own Model X or Model S right on the website. These interactive pages let you select the color of the car, as well as configuration options. You do not have to guess how much more these changes will add to the cost of the car. The totals are recalculated for you automatically.
You can also select financing options in a grid on the right-hand side of the page. This page lets you see how much options will cost, and how you can adjust the car to suit your tastes. A helpful sideshow at the top lets you leaf through previews of the car. These let you observe what the car looks like from different angles, the front and the sides. It attempts to replicate the experience of walking around the car at a showroom.
Tesla also places great importance on the clean energy revolution. Its energy page, linked to at the top, paints a vision of a renewable energy future. The design uses large images of solar-powered homes to reflect this. Tesla knows that its customers are largely progressive tech lovers who value sustainability. Now they can see in big images their wishes being fulfilled. Tesla the company makes it easy and practical for a user to start running their home on renewable energy. The choice of images that span the width of the page is apt in order to portray the life change Tesla makes possible. Users can now run their homes off the grid, and they can do it with sustainability.
Animation and interactive elements come to the forefront on the PowerWall page. This page features the PowerWall, a power system for homes and commercial buildings that uses renewable energy. Tesla uses a calculator on the page that lets a user quickly find out the power of this system.
A simple slider is all that's needed. The user can slide right to increase the amount of space for which they will need power. For example, bigger homes have higher power needs. There are endless calculations that a user might need to consider on their own to decide if the cost of the system is worth it. Rather than leave a user wondering, this calculator gives them automatic estimates. They put in the building size, and an animation shows them the number of PowerWalls required.
With no additional input, the calculator runs behind the scenes and gives them estimates of the cost. The animation makes this technical web design very engaging, keeping the user glued to the page.