VCV: Less Is More, A Case Story On Being Straightforward
How we built a website for HR-tech product VCV that got featured on Product Hunt Top 3
VCV is a platform for job applicants to record video CVs. It’s quick, easy to use, and it helps its users stand out among the competitors. Our objective was to make a website to fit: it must be simple, unburdened, and memorable. The main two limitations were that we only had five days for this project, and the «problem» that we’ll always have: our high internal standards. We did it.
So we're not just patting ourselves on the back, here's a quote from our clutch review:
Now let's see how we built, designed, and wrote it.
What we usually do is make up a concept. We’re not a team full of Marinas Abramovics and Marcels Duchamps, so our concepts aren’t intricate and impenetrable, but something keeping directly to the tasks that the website must accomplish. With the objective being to present the product as straightforward as possible, we forego the concepts entirely, and just showed the interface of VCV without any metaphors. And the final result is better for it, with style that is light, airy, and with just a hint of neomorphism to look fresh and contemporary. Here’s a bright and flashy alternative we briefly considered, so you could see for yourself how much better the minimalistic approached worked out here:
Often enough we do sophisticated illustrations and complex animations but with our objective we kept up the simplicity: just a couple things that are eye-catching, yet not obtrusive. A little animation in «switch your .pdf to VCV» with .pdf switching to .rtf, to .doc, and back to .pdf. A simple animation that perfectly illustrates the point and adds relatability. And the animated illustration of just the outline of a phone, and the fitting text to boot: a simple email, showing how instead of a massive and barely readable text you would just send a link to your video. And this leads us to how important it is for the design and the text to support each other.
Side-note: we could not achieve results of our quality, and this fast, without building it on Webflow. Here’s an earlier material on why we use it.
To reiterate our objective, what we had to do is show to a wide variety of people how simple and easy it is to record video CV, and do so in a simple and easy way. As seen above, how to do it in design is, in hindsight, obvious: just don’t complicate things when there’s no reason to do so. It’s not easy to use the same approach with text.
You have a whole list of features for a given product, taglines, selling points, everything. But as long as you keep on the objective and just say exactly what you mean, afterwards it might seem like the easiest thing in the world. You have to sculpt everything unnecessary away from your slab of text until what left is a statue of focus and clarity.
We start off with catchy and illustrative wordplay, «the resume that speaks for you». The way they described the product when they first approached us is «it’s as simple as instagram stories, but for CVs». It makes perfect sense, it’s easily understandable, and so that’s what we used. Next to our abstract phone a line that gets straight to the point — «as easy as instagram stories». The whole objective was, like with the design, to focus on the product and to not add anything extra. We kept the text to a minimum and the result is clean, plainspoken, and straightforward.
It’s easy to say a lot, it’s hard to say what you need to say and stop there.
Featuring on Product Hunt
Product Hunt is huge. Product Hunt daily shows hundreds of new projects. It’s a massive platform with over a hundred thousand people subscribed to their newsletter. To end up on their daily Top 3 and the newsletter could lead a startup to grow their audience rapidly and near exponentially. The most important is the product itself, but what you also need is to present it right. If the product is good and there’s nothing complicated about it, just show it off. The clean and stylish website we made is what in part lead VCV to being at the top of Product Hunt, and we did our job to the max in only five days.
And here’s a few other great websites that we made in just five days — audt.to, oohdesk.com, Leadly