Nutshell is software company in Ann Arbor, Michigan that has developed a customer relationship management tool, Nutshell CRM. They are the David to Salesforce’s Goliath and have leveraged their status as a challenger brand to create a product that speaks to the issues especially relevant to helping small businesses thrive. "We are the CRM for the business that didn’t realize they need a CRM."

Nutshell’s existing website detailed the technical features of their product, but lacked a holistic marketing strategy to engage and connect with their target personas. To better communicate their brand positioning and facilitate direct and indirect lead generation, Nutshell tasked LMO with redesigning its website. The primary goals of the redesign were to:

1. Shift the focus from technical product features to a more personal focus on product benefits
2. Encourage qualified leads to sign up for a free trial
3. Educate users

And the catch? It had to launch in less than three months.


We embedded ourselves in all things Nutshell, creating a dedicated team of user experience and visual designers, front and backend developers to work with the client and her content team on every aspect of the execution. To cut down on development time, we took a modular design approach that not only created a fluid visual vocabulary but also allowed the development team to code in a modular fashion.

Our design was intended to place emphasis on human connection and personal details. Photography for the “hero” area features the faces of potential clients and/or users.

Hand drawn sketches mimic the same kind of doodles we make in the margins of our notebook as we are getting to know our clients. Animations and transitions guide the user through Nutshell’s brand messaging, encouraging the user to explore and learn more about the benefits they can expect in their day-to-day experience with Nutshell’s CRM.


The structure of the site encourages users to self-select their position in the sales journey, moving them down the appropriate path for them. Most importantly all aspects of the design, content, layout and implementation work together to support a unified marketing strategy.

The website launch is just the beginning of our work increasing engagement, lead generation and growth for Nutshell. Our client was very pleased with the result and feels they have a flexible tool to hone and further develop their brand messaging.

As our partnership with Nutshell continues, we will iterate on and optimize the site. Our initial intention is to focus on A/B testing to better understand the needs specific target personas through disciplined experiments using real data.