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Pricing Table Design: Best Practices

Designing pricing tables like designing so many other elements is more than an art.  It’s a science as well – with technical aspects concerning, you guessed it, the best way possible to connect with the visitor.  Usability plays a huge role in the form and function of the pricing table element chiefly because it’s the main way that customers have of getting to know a) what services you have to offer and b) how much each will cost.

Subject matter of such importance deserves a great deal of attention from the designer, but without overdoing it.  This is the one place you don’t want to confuse the customer at all.  Pricing tables, then, should be kept straightforward and simple – no frills or bells and whistles, and certainly nothing superfluous.

In other words, this post is about the fundamentals of pricing tables – how to create them and what makes the best ones tick.  With these simple best practices under your belt, your next pricing tables are sure to stand and deliver.

Best Practices

     1.  Stand Up Prices

What’s the most important thing about a pricing table?  The answer is obvious.  The prices themselves should be the focal point of any table displaying them.  That’s why it’s important to avoid confusing topography or graphics that distract rather than explain.

Placement and organization are also extremely important.  Place prices prominently within the page in areas, where visitors are likely to scan or glance.  With wise font selection, doing so should yield positive results.  Notice in the examples below, designers have taken cues from the customer and positioned the best offers in the direct line of sight.

2. Say the Same Thing

This tip focuses, surprisingly on the designer’s perspective.  When designing pricing tables it’s usually easier to communicate what the same about two is pricing plans, rather than what is different.  Doing the opposite can alienate and confuse visitors to the point of departure.  Therefore, designers are obliged to save themselves some frustration and line up price points based on the similarities between plans and price points. 

eTribes.com’s pricing table

3. Along the Same Lines

Following closely on the heels of the tip above, is the need for consistency in design of pricing tables.  From the viewpoint of a visitor, a uniform price chart conveys the price, and the service are the most important item in view and should thus gain visitors focus.  Varying design elements in a pricing chart bring distractions and pull the attention away from the most important aspect of the chart.


4. The Right Balance

Have you ever seen a pricing table that just leaves you wanting more? Then again, there are those that pile on the details – enough to leave you wanting much less.  Getting the delicate balance right is perhaps the artiest aspect of pricing tables.  A designer may find it challenging to keep pricing table content in its most Zen-like equilibrium point, but the good news is there’s a practical rule of thumb to guide the perilous path to pricing table perfection – err on the side of simplicity.  Keeping it simple just works – in this and so many other design elements as well.  When it comes to pricing tables the rules are always simplicity and balance – not too much, not too little.

With all the subtle details involved, the stakes are high when designing pricing tables.  A wrong turn could easily lead the customer astray, never to return.  However, these tips and best practices offer a practical guide for navigating your way successfully through the ever-effective world of pricing tables. Enjoy.


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