Vitaly Friedman November 15th, 2009

Web Design Trends: Testimonials Design

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. Webfusion Media Temple Chromatic base6 Design Lifetree Creative BraveNewCode

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. 352 Media Merix Studio Spyre Studios Deluge Studios Iceberg District Solutions

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. Freshbooks Paint Your Life 45royale Inc. Mike Precious Newsberry Cute Little Factory Adrian Restantia Xero Simple Flame OH! Media GoodBarry Oxidev

4. Minimalist

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. Squarespace 280 Slides Campaign Monitor Electricurrent Momentum 18

5. Video

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. Basecamp Convergys WebpageFX

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!

Further Resources

Showcase of Testimonials in Web Design A gallery of great testimonial design from Vandelay Design Blog. 7+ Tips for Using Customer Testimonial Videos in Marketing from TrustMary. (ll)


  1. Nice examples of testimonial design. I find speech bubbles work well in addition to a photograph of the individual giving the testimonial. Of course, one should use caution when using stock photography and not choose a photo that’s widely downloaded and seen everywhere.

  2. This is a great inspriration on how to style testimonials. The best imho is the first one, the combination of the speech bubble and an image.

    1. Excellent article, which I have appreciated and referred to time and again for inspiration in my own testimonials design. However, I wish guys like this Dusan would stop ruining business comment threads all over the internet with inappropriate remarks about females on the page. You guys should delete his comment – and mine as well! LOL – but seriously. (Or at least part of them, as you suggest in your tips).

  3. I think it is best to make more of a feature of quotes so that people can see and visualise them. People sometimes look for them and purposefully search in google for them so it makes sense to have them easily seen.

  4. Great article! Testimonials are such a powerful thing.

    My focus is video testimonials…as producing them is a part of how I make a living. In video, it is important not to make a “cheerleader” kind of video – just saying your company is great or the best thing they have seen since sliced bread. “Case studies” work much better. How they found you, why they were looking and needed you, what was done, what was the result, etc.

    People love to hear stories…and the video should covey a story – your clients story about how you helped them.

  5. It’s amazing how a picture can make a testimonial so much more powerful.
    Thanks for taking the time to create an excellent resource.

  6. Do people actually read Testimonial pages? As a user, I never do because I expect the company to post only good things about themselves.

    1. While I actually agree with you about never reading testimonials myself, it’s important to understand not all companies use false testimonials to promote their products/services. Some users actually do want to read what “other” people had said about the product/service…

      The best response would be what reason would you have for not including testimonials other than not wanting to spend the time to create the page/design for them?

    2. You don’t have to create a testimonials page. You can integrate those throughout the other pages, especially on the home page.

  7. Do not limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. Keep in mind that you can gothat far as your mind lets you.

  8. This is a great post that we can refer back to when creating our testimonials section. Keep in mind that you can gothat far as your mind lets you.

  9. when i came here i assumed it was going to be filled with useless information, but really it turned out to be quite useful. im impressed!

  10. This is a well planed and informative blog post. Just what i was looking for to start my testimonial campaign on my new site. Very thought of example,that you might see on other sight. Thanks

  11. I enjoy reading the content. I completely loved each and every little bit of this. I have you saved your weblog to check out the latest information in the future.

  12. I love the theme of your blog. Did you get a blog theme creator to make this design and layout for you? It’s perfect for this type of site.

  13. Of all the sites I have researched this is exceptional! I had not much idea of how to show the testimonials on my equity release website as my web designer was going to just put some columns in :-( however this site has given me all kins of ideas….& decisions to make lol

  14. Excellent page! Can someone provide suggestions to design a page/slide with email feedback (interactive and specific to the service provided) from clients which do not sound as testimonials?

  15. Thanks for the tips and links – we just put one together. We think it looks nice. I believe it is always best to get some pictures on the page – makes them more real!

  16. Some superb examples here but I think pictures make all the difference with testimonials, they give a genuine sense of authenticity.

  17. The site testimonial page I am working on is really bland compared to your examples. This is really helpful. I was actually searching to see if testimonial pages should be searchable. Thx!

  18. Some superb examples here but I think pictures make all the difference with testimonials, they give a genuine sense of authenticity.

  19. You don’t have to create a testimonials page. You can integrate those throughout the other pages, especially on the home page.

  20. I provided a great testimonial (following this website guidelines) to our building management agent which they use on their website. In the meantime their service has been rather dreadful and my satisfaction shattered to pieces. Can I ask them to remove my testimonial from their website as it does not reflect my sentiment any longer. Many thanks. BD

  21. we are looking to redo the style of our testimonial page and are up in the air – this page REALLY helped us with some ideas…thanks!

  22. It’s true that a picture can make a testimonial so much more powerful. Video? Not sure. You’d have to be really interested in what one has to say about the company to watch a video testimonial. With text I have an option of scanning through to decide whether I want to read in full while video does not give me this possibility.

    Thanks for taking the time to create an excellent resource.

  23. Thanks for the insight.
    Yes, testimonials for me have become an important facet in my industry for the over 55’s, in providing consumer confidence in the equity release product we advise on.
    Combining this with the latest video’s on offer can present a powerful confident image we can portray.
    Question now is where do I find the best video production company? Any ideas plz?
    Many thanks in anticipation…

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