About And All That

Thanks for checking out That’s A Nice Page. It was very kind of you to visit.

What’s this site about?

I write teardowns of product pages worth talking about. For a full rundown on the thinking behind the site, check out the FAQ. You can call the site TANP for short.

Ok, but in a nutshell…?

I see far too many product pages of potentially interesting products that fail to describe what the product actually is and/or what it does. I want to inspire and educate product people—founders, designers, developers and marketers—to make better product pages that explain what their product does.

It’s a lofty goal, but together I think we can do it.

What’s a “teardown”?

A teardown is, broadly speaking, usually the act of disassembling something to see what makes it tick. Teardowns of the latest iPhone are popular, for example.

That’s roughly what I intend to do with That’s A Nice Page—break down product pages to see what makes them tick. But I wont be tearing down the technical side, I’ll be tearing down the communication to understand what works and what doesn’t when it comes to telling a product story.

Big ups to Samuel Hulick of User Onboarding fame for popularizing the term in the startup-y software circles.

What’s with the format?

The whole scroll-through-slides-in-an-iframe thing? It’s the result of a few different goals I had for the teardowns:

  • I wanted to narrate the page in question as you scrolled through it, necessitating vertical scrolling. (The typical slideshow format was out.)
  • I wanted to keep the format light and chatty, so the format is designed to echo an IM conversation (and restrain my wordier tendencies).
  • I wanted to be able to make multiple points per page section, so I wanted the text to scroll while the background stayed put for those points. (Annotating a screenshot was out.)
  • I wanted to borrow a little from other kinds of linear entertainment like podcasts, so the idea is you’re interacting with a person (and not just a bunch of abstract points) as you scroll through. Hence my lil’ cartoon head that peppers the teardowns. There’s more to explore here in the future, but for now you’re stuck with me. I’m sorry.

So what you see in the teardowns is what I ended up with. There are certain technical limitations to this approach though:

  • It can be jumpy and temperamental when scrolling.
  • The text blocks can obscure the underlying image.
  • It doesn’t work on mobile.

I’m open to suggestions on each of these points.

Who is behind this site?

Internet sensation Luke Stevens, from Sydney, Australia.

Why should I listen to you?

As a failed published author of an inconsequential HTML5 book, a failed-to-get-finished-and-thus-published author of books on Web Analytics and A/B testing, and a failed analytics SaaS bootstrapper, you most certainly should not.

You should listen to your data instead. That’s what I help with.

Do you get paid for running this site?

I’m particularly amenable to taking your money in exchange for my advice on improving your product page, which in turn will hopefully make you more money. It’s a beautiful circle.

I don’t take money (or gifts of any kind) from companies whose pages I teardown publicly.

I do run affiliate advertising in the vain hope of attracting sufficient sponsorship to allow me to post more teardowns. Hopefully climate change hasn’t killed us all by then.

I really like writing. I also really like listening to your business problems vis a vis marketing and optimization, and thinking about solutions. Especially for consulting gigs. Did I mention you can hire me?

How do I get in touch?

For consulting inquiries, please read my consulting page and follow the links there. It will help get us off to a great start. I look forward to hearing from you.

For product page teardown suggestions, I’m mostly interested in pages that are really popular and/or really good. If you want to promote your product, that’s great, but I’m probably not your guy (unless your product page is genuinely uh-maze-ing). Please sign up to the mailing list and kindly reply there. I only accept submissions from subscribers. Be sure to tell me what you like about the page.

To say hello, point out a typo (please do!), lavish me with praise, or bury me in vitriol, feel free to tweet me (@thatsanicepage) or email me: luke@thatsanicepage.com. I’m also @lukestevens where I enjoy yelling at clouds.

Relative to you I’m probably upside down right now, and possibly a little swamped, so don’t take it personally if I don’t reply straight away. I’ll do my best though. ♥

What other sites inspired this one?

Shout-outs in no particular order:

(HN gets a mention for fueling the inspiration of the site, which came about after so many occasions of finding fascinating software products, and then feeling the frustration of never understanding what the product actually does. I am here for you HN.)

What CMS do you use? (And other nerdy web site questions.)

The site is built on the lovely, occasionally maddening, and really quite very flexible Statamic 2.0 CMS. (“Statamic” as in “static-dynamic”, geddit?) It’s hopefully out of beta—or soon to be—when you read this.

I like to use and abuse Foundation when building out front-ends, as I’ve done here with true rush-it-out-the-door-dear-lord-why-is-this-taking-so-long professionalism.

The gradients are generated during writing with this version of Gradify.

Type is set in Montserrat, as it’s as close as I can get to my beloved Avenir Next without forking over a kidney or paying a modest subscription fee. Montserrat has awful kerning. I’m sorry. I also used zero build tools in the making of this site. It’s still possible people. Let’s keep the dream alive.

I designed and built everything here, for better and worse. I’ve been building CMS-powered sites forever. There are a lot of rough edges. Let me know if you spot one.