Path: One-to-one and one-to-many private messaging and sharing.”

Okay, I think I get it. I’m sure if I used the app — It is an app right? — I would get it. But while we’re here, what do those icons mean? What is Path trying to communicate?

Without words, and without clicking through to read about all the features, it’s hard to know, especially with all the intangible stuff that modern technology allows these days. 

Another big trend in startup land is using large imagery in your marketing communications. But, like icons, without context, imagery like this gives us no clue — or rather the wrong clues as to what the product is, and why we should use it. Can you guess the service that uses this image for their homepage? (Answer.)

Here’s a 156 billion dollar counter example to both those points. Icons, nearly none. Photos? Lots! Nope, those aren’t photos. They’re products — stuff that you can click, read about and then buy. They are Amazon! The whole thing is Amazon. It’s painfully clear. The rest is all text, all written english. Go figure.

September 1, 2014