Testimonials from happy clients are an important part of any service business’s website, lending trustworthiness and experience to a business. Showing those testimonials in their best light is important, as you want visitors to see them without allowing them to dominate your site’s design.
One great way to figure out how to design the testimonials on your own projects is to look at how others are doing it. There are five predominant trends in testimonial design: speech bubbles, quotation marks, images or icons, minimalism, and video. Read on for information about and examples of each, and some bonus best practices at the end.
1. Speech Bubbles
Speech bubbles create an informal, friendly atmosphere in website design. Some sites use them to surround the entire testimonial, while others might use them around an image or as an icon. In any case, they immediately set apart the text or image inside, and make it recognizable as a quote from someone.
2. Quotation Marks
Quotation marks are another way to indicate that nearby text is something someone said, and are a bit more formal than speech bubbles. They’re more appropriate for corporate sites when done in a traditional font, though using funkier fonts can make them look informal and fresh.
3. Images, Icons, or Other Graphic Elements
Displaying an image next to each testimonial is a popular trend in testimonial design. The image could be a photo of the person who gave the feedback, the logo of the company the work was completed for, or an icon or other graphic element that sets the text apart from that around it.
A lot of sites display their testimonials using a minimalist style, usually with plain text, often italic, set near other text blocks of similar shape and size. This is the most subtle method of displaying testimonials, and works best on a site that has a minimalist design, otherwise the testimonials can get lost on the page.
Video testimonials are a fairly new trend, and make a lot of sense for sites catering to tech-savvy clients. Video testimonials add another layer of trust that straight text doesn’t have; people will naturally trust hearing and seeing someone vouch for a product or service — rather than just reading about it. After all, as far as the visitor is concerned, your testimonials could be fabricated. Video is a lot harder to fake.
5 Best Practices in Testimonial Design
Integrating testimonials in your website design follows the same rules as integrating virtually any other text- or image-based content. But there are additional things to remember when adding a testimonial section to a website.
Adhere to the rules of good typography.
There are plenty of articles that offer tips for improving the typography in your website designs. Pay attention to them as you would for any other element on your site.
Make your testimonials stand out.
Don’t just put a couple testimonials on your about page or in your footer; do something to make them stand out and grab people’s attention without cluttering your design. You want your potential customers to see what your happy customers are saying. You can accomplish this through color, icons, or through prominent placement on your pages.
Correct grammar and spelling.
Although you wouldn’t make content changes, it’s perfectly acceptable to correct any grammar or spelling errors in testimonials given to you by your clients. This will ensure the testimonials look and sound professional.
You don’t have to use the entire testimonial.
Nothing says you have to quote an entire testimonial on your site. While being careful not to alter the overall impression the testimonial gives, it’s often preferable to shorten a lengthy message. The proper way to do this is by only quoting one or two lines, in context, that show your business in its strongest light.
Always ask for permission to use a testimonial.
In many locations around the world, you’ll legally need permission to use a testimonial from a client. Even if you don’t need it legally, it’s the polite thing to do. Most satisfied customers will be happy (and even honored) to let you use what they’ve said about your company to promote yourself. And especially ask permission if you want to use a photo or the logo of a client, or if you want to include their name and company along with the quote. After all, you want to keep your happy customers happy!
Showcase of Testimonials in Web Design
A gallery of great testimonial design from Vandelay Design Blog.