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The Design Goals Behind the Updated Nutanix Website

By Howard Ting
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It’s been about a week since we launched the updated Nutanix website and so far the feedback we’ve received has been generally very positive. I wanted to share a bit of the thinking behind the design of the new site. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, innovation is engrained in our culture at Nutanix. We are constantly challenging the status quo to determine if there is a better way to do things. This “tendency to innovate” extends well beyond product development and is pervasive throughout the organization.

Anyone who has worked for, purchased from, or followed an enterprise software or infrastructure company knows the vendor websites in this category follow a pretty standard format. There is a well established menu structure that typically includes products, solutions or use cases, case studies, information or collateral downloads, news and events, and company. Sometimes there are additional menus added for partners or customer support. The page layout is also fairly standardized. On the homepage, you will see a large billboard area that has a few sliders to promote the latest news or marketing campaign. Below, you will see 2-4 vertical columns packed with information. On the secondary pages, you typically see a sidebar area next to the main body where the vendor is promoting their related documents or some other call to action (like requests for a demo).

I think the biggest mistake that vendors make is underestimating their visitor. Vendors tend to want to spoon feed a lot of information to the visitor in the hopes that what is presented matches what the visitor is looking for. The more you present, the thinking goes, the better the odds you get a match. This strategy results in sites that are cluttered and overloaded. I think our world has changed. Not only are visitors more savvy with navigating vendor sites and searching to find what they’re looking for, they are also short on time so skimming through long pages is a chore. These users are also increasingly using tablets and smartphones, which reinforces the need to simplify and streamline.

At Nutanix we have taken a different (and somewhat risky) approach. We let the user drive. Rather than present too much content all at once, we present just enough and let the visitor drill deeper if he or she so desires. We haven’t reduced or eliminated any content from the site. Rather, we tuck content away until the user decides to access it. When we initiated the project to update the Nutanix website, we settled on the following design goals:

  • Make it easier for our visitors to find relevant information when they want
  • Make the site more engaging
  • Make the site tablet/mobile friendly
I feel we have done an admirable job addressing these goals. We carefully considered the main reasons why someone would visit the Nutanix website and settled on 4 primary tracks (excluding partner and customer login):
 
  1. To learn about the industry and the problems we solve
  2. To learn about Nutanix products and solutions
  3. To engage or connect with Nutanix
  4. To follow what the industry is saying or writing about Nutanix
We threw out the traditional menu structure and realigned our site to the four visitor intentions outlined above. We also changed the layout of the secondary pages and removed the sidebar menu to recover valuable lost real estate in order to deploy richer, more visually engaging content. The site is mobile friendly with clean, simple pages and no menu hovering or Flash required.
 
We’re not done. We will continue to make enhancements to the site and hope that you give us feedback to improve your visitor experience. You can email me directly at howard@nutanix.com or send feedback to our webmaster@nutanix.com alias. Thanks in advance for helping us make the Nutanix website better for you.