Shortform landing page audit

Company Name: Shortform

Industry: Education

Product: Book summaries

Business Model: SaaS

Customer: B2C

Date Reviewed: 11 Jul 2023

Link: Shortform

Shortform landing page screenshot 0

Above the fold

Shortform’s above the fold has four elements that we’ll dive into individually.

Shortform section: above the fold


"Way more than book summaries"

  • Nice use of casual language that resonates with the audience
  • Gives me a brief understanding of the product. I know it's at least a book summary. The headline could be improved by clearly explaining what the product is.


"Shortform has the world's best guides to 1000+ nonfiction books. Learn key points and gain insights you won't find anywhere else. Understand the world's best ideas."

  • The subheadline tells me what the product is. Book guides with only the key points.
  • 1000 books appear to be great at first, but on second thought, I'd question whether they would have the books I'm interested in.

Call to action

Primary CTA: Sign up for free

Secondary CTA: Browse books

  • Low friction action that lets the user know they can sign up for free. Once I sign up, if I cannot access any information until entering payment, this would be a frustrating user experience.
  • Clear and consistent messaging is repeated throughout the page.

Visual (hero image)

  • A view of what the product might look like. This is important; without a demo, it helps to visualise what they will be paying for.
  • There are popular books people might have heard of - "How to win friends and influence people"
  • The image is a good candidate for A/B testing. A different combination of popular books might improve conversion rates.

Features & Benefits Overview

Shortform lists 8 different features & benefits explaining the product. The 8 feature sections are as follows;

  • Why are Shortform Guides the best?
  • Learn from Books Worth Your Time
  • Apply What You Learn
  • Read Analysis of Key Topics
  • Learn on the Go with Audio
  • Why People Love Using Shortform
  • Get Great Ideas from Other Readers
  • Plus More Useful Features
  • Discover Hundreds of Book Guides

Section: Why are Shortform guides the best?

  • After this section, I have a good understanding of what the product is.
  • Good use of emotional language - "never be confused by a book again".
Shortform section: why are shortform guides the best

Call to action: Get a free book guide

  • At this point, I have a good understanding of what the product is, so I can decide whether to use the product or not.
  • Well-timed call to action for the user to get a free book guide in exchange for their email.
Shortform section: CTA get a free book guide

Section: Learn from books worth your time

  • I found myself skimming over this section. It doesn't mean much to me having several categories, as I know there aren't many guides (1000-1200 is my guess). If there are ~25 categories for ~1200 books, that's ~50 books per guide.
  • An idea to improve this section might be to have a book per category and limit the categories to 3 so the user isn't overwhelmed. A/B test which books convert best.
Shortform section: learn from books worth your time

Section: Apply what you learn

  • A great question to hook the reader in “Ever read a book and quickly forget what it was about?” to read more.
  • Quite a text-heavy section, as the image that describes the section contains a lot of text.

Shortform section: apply what you learn

Section: Read analysis of key topics

  • I skimmed this section. Feels like an unrelated product. I want book analysis, not news analysis.
Shortform section: read analysis of key topics

Call to action: Try shortform for free

  • "Learn a book's key ideas better than ever" feels like a weak leading sentence to the CTA. I'm not compelled to try signing up by that sentence.
  • Using language focused on the benefits to the user would work better here. For example, "Become the smartest person in the room", "Become the expert on relevant topics."
Shortform section: try shortform for free

Section: Learn on the Go with Audio

  • Seems the page has multiple goals. Sign up, get a free book guide and download the app.
  • A little confusing, but as it’s not a dedicated landing, it makes sense why it’s here.
Shortform section: learn on the go with audio

Section: Why people Love Using Shortform

  • This section needs to be made smaller. You cannot read the title, testimonials and CTA at the same time without scrolling on desktop.
  • The testimonials feel genuine and do a good job of selling the product.
Shortform section: why people love using shortform

Section: Get great ideas from other readers

  • Like the news analysis section, I'm not interested in the community product, so I skimmed this section.
  • Good use of emotional language in the final sentence, "We're all in this together".
Shortform section: get great ideas from other readers

Section: Discover hundreds of book guides

  • Popular books people might have heard of, such as “How to win friends and influence people”, are again a great target for A/B testing.
  • It would be nice to give an instant demo of the product when clicking on the product. Show a snippet of the full guide. It feels like quite a natural extension of the page.
Shortform section: discover hundreds of book guides

Final call to action

  • The final call to action pre-text, "Discover the world's best ideas and apply them to your life", is on the weak side and doesn't compel me to sign up.
  • Answering the question - How does discovering the world's best ideas improve my life? It would be a much more impactful call to action pre-text.
Shortform section: final CTA


The page is very well designed. It is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. The use of whitespace and the colour works well on the page.

Generally, the page has good visual hierarchy. The above the fold section falls down a little here, as several instances of yellow are used. The header has a yellow CTA, the hero section has another, and the hero image has several yellow CTA's. Everything is fighting for my attention, making the CTA less effective.

The layout of the page works well. However, it could be improved by following Miller's Law, which states we only remember around 7 things in the short term. 8 sections describe features and benefits. This could be reduced to give users a better chance of remembering what the product does by the final CTA.

There was a good use of well-timed exit points on the page, giving users the option to take action without having to finish reading the page.

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