The design of your “how-to” page can make a huge difference to potential customers. This is a company’s opportunity to showcase its process and describe its value-add to potential customers. Some companies choose a direct approach by simply displaying their product and explaining why it’s worth buying. On the other hand, a company might opt for a more elaborate approach with a sleek design and visual elements. Regardless, describing your process to potential consumers, whether through a how-it-works page, an “our story” page, or other means, is a key element in explaining not just what your business does, but how it works.
Let’s take a look at how any business can build an effective “how-to” page.
Does it do the job?
The first question that any business should ask themselves is, “does the page do the job?” Businesses who answer that question will educate potential customers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s effective. The page should describe the process while simultaneously answering customer’s questions and pain points.
Take the Sharable For Hires “help” page, for example:
(Image Source: Shareable For Hires)
Here, we can see a simple page with links to videos that provide step by step instructions on not only how to leverage their service, but also how to navigate the site. It also addresses common problems someone might face during the employment screening process that potential customers can expect. Videos are a great way to answer potential customers’ questions efficiently. It guarantees they won’t run into any issues while learning how to use your product or service.
Some companies go for a fancy design with many moving parts, but they risk losing users to tricky navigation. If the page is tricky to navigate, the customer is likely to think your product will be hard to use as well.
SmartMove addresses this concern immediately with their “how to” information directly on their homepage:
(Image Source: SmartMove)
SmartMove is broken down in a digestible way for both landlord and renters in a concise way. This makes the service easier to understand and presents the product information in a clean way. For those who still need more information, the “learn more” button allows them to find that information.
Accordingly, visual navigation and having an interactive aspect is just as important as describing the process and answering questions.
Hot Jar, a web and mobile analytics firm, does this effectively:
(Image Source: Hot Jar)
The design aims to explain the process, but it does so in an engaging way. The setup makes it easy to absorb the “Heatmaps” aspect of their service. When you click on the subheadings in the left column, an image emerges displaying the how-to of each. Moreover, the visual element does not overwhelm the page, but neither does the text portion. What does that spell? Easy navigation. Then, the hyperlinks give visitors additional resources to learn more about “Heatmaps.”
Break Up the Information
Aside from simplicity, it’s important not to clutter the page with too much information regarding different areas of your service or website.
Take Facebook’s “overview” page, for example:
(Image Source: Facebook)
Since Facebook has all of those areas of their site that need explanation, it’s a better option to simply have an explanation for each of their services on separate pages. By clicking each of those hyperlinks, you’re taken to a how-to page for each amenity. This way the page isn’t full of wordy information having to do with different uses of their website.
We have explored a couple of examples of product pages, or “how to” pages that answer the question, “does it do the job?” All three have a couple things in common. First, they are easy to navigate. Second, they present the information in a digestible way that answers both user questions and describes the service in a concise way. Last, the page is interactive enough to keep the users engaged, but not complicated enough to drive them away.
There is not a one-size fits all in the case of “how-to” pages. There are, however, elements that the page needs in order to present the product in an effective way.