Please Stop With the Fake Product Box Renderings

I frequently go scrounging around for niche developmenttools/libraries to solve one-off needs, andit’s frightening how ubiquitous fake, 3D-rendered productbox images are in the software tool industry.

These rectangular parallelepiped (aka “box“) renderingsgenerally feature some gangly, oversized text, coupled withawkward, gaudy graphics.

Further investigation has revealed that there’s a wholeindustry of “3d box rendering” software vendors, all promising topump up your sales if you put one of these travesties on yourproduct page.

What’s the point of these fake product box renderings Why do somany ISVs insist upon leading their product page with them?

It makes our product more real! Like something physicalthat you could hold in your hands.

No it doesn’t. It makes it lessreal.

Seeing a clearly bogus box that no one would everspend actual money printing doesn’t fool anyone. Worse, itgives off the putrid stench of deception, implying that there’s areal shelf-clogging box when many of these products provide nothingof the sort, most being e-delivery or at most a CD shipping ina flat pack.

It begins a relationship of mistrust.

But Microsoft does it! Microsoft=successful, therefore itmust be a good practice

Apart from the weak (and admittedly strawman) rationalization,not only has Microsoft mostly abandoned the “picture of the box”graphics on their product pages, where they did use it they usedthe professionally produced graphics they printed on thereal box — the real box that you probablyalso saw at Circuit City or Future Shop or wherever.

The product page graphic made reference to real life.It didn’t spin some fiction.

We as an industry need to stop this image on cuboid violence. Ifyou must decorate a product page, it’s less of a crime to use someof the standard “beautiful people looking happy” pictures, thougheven that should be avoided.