NextSilicon

2023

NextSilicon’s landing page is beautiful, with some strong messaging.

But a few arguable decisions make it seem like the underlying goals for its design were unclear.

The Hero Section

The messaging here is great.

“Getting our chip together” clearly indicates that the company is still figuring out some stuff, with a nice hat-tip to the chip industry. Notice the beautiful pyramid structure of the heading (narrow at the top, gradually widening towards the base), which makes it look intentional and elegant.

The problem is that when the visitor presses on the huge “watch video” button, he is taken to Youtube, the biggest attention trap on the internet.

Playing the video natively on the site would work a lot better for keeping visitors scrolling and learning more.

Notice also the lack of a Call to Action in the hero section (the navbar CTA doesn’t count, as visitors will probably scan it last).

Websites should have a clear goal, and that goal will always be related to an action (sign up, apply to a job, contact us etc.). So the lack of a CTA here makes me wonder who the website is for, and what is expected of them.

The Mission Statement

This heading is way too long.

People don’t read websites, they scan them.

So I would put my money on the fact that hardly anybody reads this heading after the first line. Not every text on a website is supposed to be read, but if it’s important, it should be clear and concise.

Losing every word that does not add essential information would be a good move. For example: “A radically new approach to HPC” would ensure that every visitor understands what NextSilicon does.

And here’s that CTA! So is the site’s goal recruiting? Probably.

The Vision

Great section.

Notice the super-bold, italic typography.

Super-bold (or “black”, in design jargon) typography is punchy and confident. It says “I’m serious about this.” Combined with italic letters, that lean forward, conveying a feeling of movement and speed.

These 2 typography decisions fit perfectly with NextSilicon’s “Revolutionary” feel.

The messaging is also great - notice how you couldn’t remove even one word from this sentence without losing critical information.

The Problem and Solution

The messaging here does a good job of using the “philosophical” problem.

The philosophical problem is a way of framing the problem as a belief about how the world should be, connecting to a bigger movement, instead of "selfishly" focusing on the product.

“Scientists should focus on science”, “Customer support shouldn’t be this expensive” etc.

Notice how the solution itself (Higher-performance hardware for HPC" is nicely tucked above the main heading, clarifying what NextSilicon actually makes, but shifting focus to the bigger issue.

The image is esthetic and gives clear context, but is not interesting enough to avoid drawing attention away from the message.

The Team

This section is the least compelling in my eyes, for 2 reasons:

  1. Besides the fact that they are beautiful people that look professional in branded T-shirts, this section doesn’t tell me much about the leadership of this company. The only way to find out more is to hop to their LinkedIn, which I may very well not come back from.

  2. These images take up A LOT of space. 2.5x that of the “vision” section. Is this section 2.5x more important than the vision section? 
I’m not so sure.

One could argue that the team is the most important component of a young startup, so it makes sense for them to take a huge chunk of the website.

But even in that case, this section should still provide a lot more information for that expensive “attention real-estate”.

Locations

Dedicating this huge section to the office locations is a pretty unique decision. On one hand it supports the hiring goal, but I’m not sure that adding a map of each location with a dedicated button is the best way to go.

Also - “Contact us” is pretty vague. What about?

If the goal here is to entice local candidates to apply, a bigger, clearer message, with a list of location could deliver a stronger message.

for example:

“Do you live around here?” for a friendly tone, fitting with the hero section.

or

“Hiring globally” for a more professional tone of voice

Hiring

Finally, a section with a clear goal and CTA.

The design here is great, but if the website's main goal is to recruit great people, I would place this section a lot higher in the website.

Notice the CTA text, “We are hiring” is a statement and does not actually call the visitor to action.

CTA texts should be a request/proposal and provoke an action, like “Contact us”, “Book a demo”, “See our open positions” etc.

Contact Form

This section is small but punchy, notice the dark background appearing for the first time in the site, pulling our attention. But the messaging here is super vague.

“Let’s collaborate, we can take you to that next level” - is this directed at customers? candidates? investors? And what is the offer?

Up until this point the messaging seemed very hiring-oriented. And I’m guessing that this section is the way to contact customers, but if that is the case, the messaging here should be much more direct.

For example:

“Are you a *customer profile*? Learn how you can *get benefit Y*” + a “Book a call” CTA.

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To summarize - NextSilicon seem like a strong startup with a promising value proposition, and a lot of resources, and I think that they could get a lot more value from their website if they stop and think about why the need it in the first place.

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