Case Study Report Template For Website


One of the toughest challenges designers face when pitching prospective clients is winning over their trust and confidence. If your prospective clients haven’t worked with you in the past,  they’ll likely have hesitations about handing over their hard-earned cash to a stranger. To win their confidence (and close the deal!), you’ll need to take some extra steps to reassure them that your design work will not only be a success aesthetically, but that it will also help them achieve their business objectives.

One of the greatest tools in a designer’s arsenal for overcoming this unique obstacle is the case study.

Case studies are narratives that reveal what you are capable of as a designer. They allow you to walk prospective clients through the contextual details of your existing project work so you can outline your creative strategy from conception to completion. They are the perfect tool for boosting the quality of proposals and adding credibility to your portfolio website.

The best case studies move beyond intuition-based explanations and document the rationale behind the design, UX, and visual decisions. They offer a more humanized perspective into the design process that, ultimately, makes a business case for your work. This leaves you in a better position to prove your value (and price) to even the most skeptical client.

You might also like:How to Create a Compelling Web Design Portfolio

First things first: Plan for your case study ahead of time

Before we take a deep dive into the kind of content that makes a great case study, I want to stress the importance of creating a case study for each project you work on.

While this may seem like a lot of extra work, you can facilitate the writing process by taking the time to proactively think about how you will document your projects and their successes before you begin working. That way, you’re guaranteed to end the project with strong documentation that reflects your thinking, iterations, and key results as accurately as possible.

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the five core elements that should be included in any case study.

You might also like:The Ultimate Guide to Finding Web Design Clients.

The 5 core elements of a web design case study

1. The Overview

Think of your Overview section as the executive summary of your case study. It’s the Cole’s Notes version of the document, and allows your prospects to quickly understand the highlights of your past work without reading the entire thing. This section should include the core takeaways from all other sections including the main problem, an overview of the solution, and key results.

While the Overview will be your least detailed part of the case study, it is probably your most important. Only the most meticulous clients will take the time to read through your entire case study; the majority of them will just quickly skim through in order get the gist. Because of this, drafting a complete and well-articulated overview should be your top priority.

An overview section can be as simple as this example by Work & Co.

Pro Tip: Write your Overview section once the rest of your case study is finished. That way you can simply scan over the main points of each section and summarize them into a one or two paragraph synopsis.

2. The Context and Challenge

The second section of your case study — commonly referred to as the Context and the Challenge —  is designed to provide your prospective client with a detailed description of the context that led to the creation of the project. If it’s well-written, the reader will leave with a solid understanding of the environmental factors and problems that you were hired to solve as a designer.

This section can be distilled into three main elements:

1. Project background and description — The contextual information for the project including timelines, budgetary constraints, and the overarching purpose of the job.

2. The problem — The “why?” and the focal point for the project. Your case study needs to clearly explain the problem that led to the onset of the project. For example, if you were working on an ecommerce project then your problem could be something similar to:

“Interest for company X’s core product was growing internationally at an unprecedented scale. This led to severe logistical and distribution problems that could not be fixed by physical retail solutions alone.”

3. Project goals and objectives — Every website you work on should have tangible goals and objectives associated with the project’s problem. Are you trying to drive more traffic to the site overall? Optimize product pages for higher conversions? Reduce cart abandon rates? No matter what your objectives are, try your best to include any quantifiable metrics that were known at the onset of the project.

A simple, yet descriptive, “challenge” in Super Top Secret’s case study

Pro Tip: The core elements of The Challenge are often presented to you in the project Request for Proposal or creative brief. If you are working on a more personal level with your client, however, try capturing this information in conversation. This will become the basis of your brief and, eventually, your case study too.

3. The Process and Insight

The purpose of this section is to elaborate on your design process, creative concept, and insight that led to your design decisions. It’s also an opportunity for you to walk your prospective client through the research, workflow, and iterations of your design work.

When writing content for this section, you want to illustrate how you got from The Challenge to The Solution. Make sure the flow of information is logical and that it culminates with a core insight about your client’s audience, business, or industry. These insights can stem from your client’s unique selling properties and key differentiators, or from their audience’s behavioural and consumption habits.

To ensure your reader conclusively arrives at these insights as well, you’re going to need to thoroughly document your research. Include any details about A/B tests, user research interviews, and key brainstorming takeaways that led you to uncover those crucial pieces of information.

A simple version of a “process section” from nurun’s case study

Pro Tip: Finding a core truth about your client’s audience can be one of the toughest challenges as a designer. If you’re lucky, your client might already have substantial research about their customers. Use their knowledge and this research to help you craft an insight. Otherwise, try employing tactics like A/B testing and user research to help guide your design decisions.

4. The Solution

The Solution is where you get to show off your skill and style as a designer. It’s your chance to feature any and all samples of your work — from videos, landing pages, custom integrations, and anything else you created for the project.

To really get the most from this section, be sure to include written descriptions about your design work. Take the time to explain in detail your site’s defining features like its UX, navigation structure, content strategy, or unique mobile attributes. If you put the effort into crafting descriptions that complement your visual assets, your readers will feel much more confident in your decisions as a designer.

A sample highlighting animated design elements from This Also’s case study

Pro Tip: Remember, the medium is the message. Don’t limit yourself to screenshots alone. Incorporate interactive elements - animations, video, transitions, or anything else - that accurately represent your design work to really wow your prospects.

5. The Results

For most business owners, it’s all about the numbers. That’s why this section is crucial for an effectively written case study.

The Results section will cover the qualitative and quantitative success metrics from your project. While the type of metrics you report on can vary from one project to another, they should directly address the objectives you established in The Context and Challenge section. Having these results in hand will allow you to show your prospects that your work had a direct influence on your client meeting their goals. If you can do this, you’ll help them feel more comfortable putting their business (and their money) into your hands.

In addition to, or in lieu of, quantifiable metrics, consider including one to three testimonials in this section. These testimonials are another great tactic for boosting the confidence of your prospects. Since the source of these reviews come from outside your business, prospects are more likely to trust them as a reputable reference. When including your testimonials, however, keep them short and sweet. They can be as simple as one or two sentences, so long as they illustrate your previous client’s satisfaction with your work.

A nice mix of qualitative and quantitative results from Simon Pan’s case study

Pro Tip: Be sure to collect testimonials from your clients near the tail-end of your project. Ask them to speak about your process, creative thinking, and the quality of the final product. Just make sure you get their approval to publish them!

5 examples of creative web design case studies

Although case studies should include a lot of important and somewhat formulaic information, they are still an expression of your unique personality and style. This means you have all the liberty in the world to get creative with their format and presentation. To give you some inspiration, here are five examples of creative web design case studies that we loved reading.

Aerolab — Xapo

Fantasy Interactive — Airlines Project

Michael Evensen — Soundcloud App

Robin Noguier — Allocine

Super Top Secret — University of Oregon

Do you have any case studies that you’re proud of? Share them in the comments below.

About the Author

Simon is a coffee lover, former agency digital strategist, and Shopify Partners' Growth Marketing Manager. When he isn’t hustling at the Shopify HQ, you can most likely find him dining at restaurants across the city or brushing up on the latest design trends.

Follow @SimonHeats

EmailPinterestFacebookFacebookLinkedIn

Let’s grow your freelance or agency business.

Get design inspiration, practical takeaways and free resources to help you find and delight clients.

Thanks for subscribing

You’ll start receiving free tips and resources soon. In the meantime, find out how Shopify’s Partner Program can help you grow your business.

Learn more

Let’s grow your freelance or agency business.

Get design inspiration, practical takeaways and free resources to help you find and delight clients.

No charge. Unsubscribe anytime.

Thanks for subscribing

You’ll start receiving free tips and resources soon. In the meantime, find out how Shopify’s Partner Program can help you grow your business.

Learn more

The marketing case study is one of the oldest and most venerable examples of content marketing. From Oprah touting howWeight Watchers has worked for her, to American Express endorsing SalesForce, case studies are prevalent across industries and marketing forms.

According to a B2B marketing trends report, customer testimonials and case studies are considered the most effective content marketing tactics by nine out of ten B2B marketers. According to Social Fresh, customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness rating for content marketing at 89 percent.Seventy-three percent of people have used marketing case studies in the past 12 months to make B2B purchasing decisions.

Use this guide to understand how to use case studies for your organization. It offers instructions on how to secure a first-rate case study, and a template for getting started on a case study today.

The Basics

What is a case study and why are they so important?

According to Top Rank Marketing Blog:

A “case study” in the context of marketing is an analysis of a project, campaign or company that identifies a situation, recommended solutions, implementation actions, and identification of those factors that contributed to failure or success.

As the aforementioned stats illustrate, marketing case studies are important because they help you sell your company’s product. They validate the statements your company makes about your product, and allow potential buyers to see your product in action. This blog post will help you secure and create a case study that sets your company apart from its competitors.

Here’s what you need to do to secure a case study.

Steps for Getting a Marketing Case Study

The first (and often hardest) part of creating a marketing case study is getting a customer to agree to one. No doubt many customers are pleased with your product. But it’s no small thing for them to take time out of their busy schedule to talk about how awesome the product or service they’re paying for is.

Many larger companies also have formalized rules around providing testimonials. This can extend the process of getting a case study, as they have to go through legal, senior management, and more, just to get approval.

Increase your case study prospects. Create a formalized process that ensures you get the case studies you need on a regular basis.

Meet with customer success, sales, and marketing to get them on board with creating regular case studies. From this meeting, create a formal document that outlines how to submit marketing  case study opportunities, the frequency that customer success are expected to do so, and the process/time commitment involved after a client has agreed to participate.  
Include a case study request email template to save customer success time. Consider these sample templates:

Including It in the Contract

Some companies choose to include a customer testimonial or case study commitment in part of their purchase agreement. This is a great way to guarantee you’ll have case studies in the pipeline. It’s also a conflict of interest, and some would argue flirts the line of ethical behavior. By including case studies in a contract, you’re essentially paying for testimonials.

You want to publish only truly impressive, stand-out marketing case studies. Customers who are doing so well with your product that you’d want to make a case study from their experience are likely to be happy to help. Customers who need a contract to be forced into a case study aren’t often the ones you want as a face for your brand.

Gather Information for Your Marketing Case Study

After a customer agrees to do a case study, take the following steps to ensure the process goes smoothly.

Send an Email

It should introduce you if you haven’t already. Confirm the date and time for your first phone call or in-person meeting. Address the time commitment of the case study, and include the questions you plan on asking.

With customer testimonials the person you’re interviewing needs to have well-spoken and thought out responses about your product. Here are some sample questions you could ask:

  • How did you find out about our company?
  • What made you start looking for our solution?
  • Which other products did you look at before deciding on ours?
  • Why did you choose our solution above others?
  • How has using our solution been so far? Tell us about your experiences and what you’ve done with it?
  • How has our product benefitted you and your team?
  • What results have you seen with our solution so far?
  • What do you hope to do with our product moving forward?

Interview

Next, conduct the interview. Whether it’s in person or over the phone, make sure to record the interview for transcription later. Make sure to inform them that you’re recording them. Aside from being common courtesy, it’s also illegal in some states to record someone without their consent. As you’re interviewing, make note of any especially interesting points, as well as numerical results.

Take Pictures and Record Video

If you’re conducting an interview onsite, take pictures and video. If not, ask your customer to send some over. The more visual your marketing case study is, the better. According to Animoto, four times as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than to read about it.

Transcribe

Transcribe and fact check the interview. Try using a service website like Fiverr for quick transcription that won’t break the bank.

Gather Data

Find out information about the company and their results with your product outside of the interview. Ask if you can see their results or look into their reporting for numerical information to back up the information in the interview. If they don’t have this information, look internally for more general stats on your product’s impact on the people that use it.

Find a Story, Start Writing

Once you have all the data you need, start pulling together your copy, video, and images into a shareable document. Use the marketing  case study template below to create a first-class case study.

Marketing Case Study Template

Title

Too many companies title their case studies things like “[insert company name here] Case Study.” This is both boring and uninformative. Use the case study title to help potential readers decide if it’s something that applies to them. Include a description of the company and some of their results. E.g. “Case Study: How CS2 Compliance Is Succeeding With Curata Content Curation Software

Subtitle

The subtitle should round out the reader’s expectations of what’s in the study. Include more numerical improvements, or an overview of what happened. E.g. “Creating and Growing an Excited Community in a Highly-Regulated, Niche Market”

Their Company Overview

We recommend pulling the company overview directly from the company’s website. It should be two or three sentences and highlight parts of the company most important to your audience. If you’re looking to highlight the company size, mention it here.

Your Company Overview

It’s okay to use a boilerplate description here. However, if there is something else that might be beneficial to include in this particular use-case—add it. If you have more than one product description in your boilerplate description, focus on the product the marketing case study focuses on.

Introduction

The introduction should present the company you’re talking about and their problem. Here’s an example:

CS2 Compliance, a regulatory consulting firm for financial services clients, wanted to build a community for its clients and save time answering regulation-specific questions in individual emails. They wanted a solution that made content creation easier, found topical subjects in their industry, and enabled them to quickly publish to their website and newsletter.

Solution

The next section should introduce your product and why your customer went with you. Example:

They chose Curata Content Curation Software (CCS). Curata CCS uses machine learning, natural language processing, and artificial intelligence to help marketers discover and publish industry-specific content across marketing channels.

Action

This should describe how your product or service was implemented and how it made the overall process smoother, easier, cheaper, etc. Example:

CS2 uses Curata CCS to curate articles that answer a variety of FAQs, building a robust content program including discussion boards, webinars, and frequent newsletters. This has led to strategic and streamlined website content and newsletter publication for CS2.

Results

Finally, show the results. They support the statement that this company was successful with your product. If you have further information about how customers perform with your product, include it here. Include how your client is planning on using your product in the future to grow and expand their goals. Example:

Newsletters now have an open rate of 42.52 percent, and a click-through rate of 23.11 percent, both significantly above industry averages. With Curata, CS2 exceeded community registration goals by over 60 percent. CS2 is now using Curata to expand their reach and create custom experiences for each sub-audience within their online community.

Pull Quotes

Once the meat of your marketing case study is written, choose some pull quotes to highlight. Example:

CS2 co-founder and president Mary Harris King had this to say about Curata: “Curata keeps our current clients up-to-date with interesting articles while integrating with our public facing website so potential clients can see our newsfeeds, and sign up for the daily news digest, etc. It’s a great way to reach both audiences.”

Statistics

Case studies are a compelling way to convince prospects to buy your product. They’re even more compelling when your claims are supported by data and hard information. Use company information and stats, outside numbers, and numbers from your customer to round out your marketing case study. Writing on how curation improves content marketing ROI? Include a stat from a trusted source. Example:

Over 50 percent of marketers that curate content indicate that it has increased their brand visibility, thought leadership, SEO, web traffic, and buyer engagement.

Conclusion

Many case studies include a conclusion at the end wrapping up all the details. Instead, try a big, colorful CTA. While a conclusion is nice, making sure the reader doesn’t have to consume more than they need is even better. If your marketing case study is very long, include the most important points at the beginning in bullets.

Distribute and Promote Your Marketing Case Study

Case studies are effective on your website and as a sales enablement tool. They should also be sent to your sales team. Include a description of what it’s about and the situations it should be most effective for.

Other ways to maximize the impact of a case study include:

  • Place it on your home page
  • Send an email sharing it with the case study’s target audience, or as part of your newsletter
  • Write a supplemental blog post to drive traffic to the case study. Focus on the problem solved in the case study and write an informational post on that topic
  • Add the case study to relevant landing pages
  • Add it to you or your coworkers’ signatures
  • Insert it into a slideshow or longer presentation on product use cases
  • Share the case study on social media

Examples of Awesome Marketing Case Studies

For more information, check out some standout case studies by other companies.

Bitly

Bitly’s case study is notable for a couple of reasons. First, their decision to use a slide deck over a single page document. It’s easy to digest and different enough that it piques the reader’s interest. The layout is sleek and skimmable with easy takeaways. Bitly includes images and a colorful layout that’s more interesting than a traditional, text-heavy marketing case study.

Kantar Media Division Cymphony

Kantar media created a case study video of their work for Samsung. For a service-based product, this form of marketing case study proved extremely effective. Kantar describe their process, their findings, and their results in a quick, story-heavy video.

Zendesk

Zendesk include customer testimonials in a visually appealing multimedia library on their website. This allows visitors to search by use case, industry, and company size to find the most relevant story to them.

For an example of one of Curata’s case studies, check out “How CS2 Compliance is SucceedingWith Curata Content Curation Software” [pdf].

Marketing case studies can be hugely effective. They provide proof of concept to potential buyers, and drive your audience further down the funnel. They can also serve as a powerful sales enablement tool. For more on how to drive your audience further down the funnel and measure your content’s efficacy, read Curata’s eBook: Content Marketing Metrics: Account Based Marketing Edition.

Tags: case study, content marketing, marketing case study

0 thoughts on “Case Study Report Template For Website

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *