At some point, companies that make software stopped having a dedicated “screenshots” page on their websites. These pages were always sparse. A simple gallery of thumbnails. But for those of us who appreciated seeing before buying, or for those who were simply curious in nature, the screenshots page was one of the best out there. I miss it.
I understand why it went away. It’s hard to sell a screenshot. It’s just an image. No fancy animations. No marketing copy. No abstracted illustrations. Just a flat, two dimensional picture. The product has to do all the talking.
App stores have sort of revived this art form. I don’t think I’ve read many app descriptions. But I’ve certainly swiped through thousands of screenshots.
Back to the web: maybe most buyers didn’t care to see the real thing. If the screenshots page had been a high converter, it’d still be around and I wouldn’t have any reason to write this post.
But even when I didn’t end up buying, which was most of the time, I respected the guts. And even when the thumbnail gallery showcased every way not to design a product, I still respected the pride in the work. It may, at times, have been hubris. But it’s hard not to love that which has nothing to hide.