Welcome to another edition of The Lab Report!

Before we dive into this week’s web design happenin’s, I wanted to share a little nugget of insight I gained from a couple purchases I made this Black Friday.

These purchases have impacted my day-to-day in a way that I wasn’t expecting.

The first purchase was a Lion’s Mane mushroom supplement. It’s basically a nootropic that’s supposed to help with memory, focus, and overall cognitive function.

(Not the fun kind of mushroom, unfortunately).

The other was a 21-day yoga stretching challenge. You might’ve seen ads for this one before.

In the past two weeks, I can honestly say that I have felt a noticeable shift in my productivity, mood, and physical well-being.

More than I thought I would.

But before you go looking these products up, here’s the interesting part.

I have NO IDEA if these products actually work or not.

Literally, I have no clue.

But that’s the point. It almost doesn’t even matter.

When I sit down and drink my mushroom coffee, I put my headphones in, close all tabs, and get to work.

I don’t want to waste the supplement I spent my precious money on.

And when I wake up in the morning, I feel better about my mobility because of all the stretching I’m doing.

There’s slightly less “my body is broken” self-talk in my head.

My realization has been how much of this is a mental game.

It’s so mental it’s mental.

By feeling like I need to be productive when I take my mushroom coffee, I become productive.

By feeling like my yoga is increasing mobility, I increase my mobility.

It’s almost annoying how primitive our brains are.

We’ll see how long this lasts, but I found it interesting that if you’re truly convinced that something will help you, there’s a good chance it actually will.

Even if it really does nothing at all.

🎃 Kinsta’s redesign causes mass chaos

Kinsta – a popular and well-respected managed WordPress host – just released a full rebrand out into the wild.

Here’s what their homepage once looked like:

Kinsta homepage

Most recently:

Kinsta homepage

And here’s what it looks like now:

Kinsta homepage

The feedback I have seen in various FB groups have not been kind to the rebrand.

A lot of people hate it.

Kinsta rebrand feedback

And some are just plain having fun with it:

Credit to Patrick Gallagher for this one

Here’s a hot take. I actually like the new homepage.

There, I said it. Sue me.

Here’s why.

When was the last time you saw a design that looked different?

The last two years have largely been the same design styles rehashed over and over.

There’s a pretty good reason for that. Modern design is quite appealing to the eye.

But I commend Kinsta for breaking the norm and trying something bold.

Will normal potential customers like it better than your typical SaaS design?

It’s debatable.

But it’s better at getting attention, that part’s for sure.

And getting attention might mean the difference when you have hundreds of hosting companies trying to snag that sweet moolah from your wallet.


Side note: I’m not so sold on the product pages.

🎨 Why have I never seen this free mockup tool before


As a big tool [guy] myself, I can’t believe I haven’t come across this one before.

Shots.so lets you create beautiful mockups so fast, so easy, and so free.

After you upload an image, you can choose from a bunch of different angles and frames.

You can keep it minimal, use a browser window, or wrap it with a device.

The devices are heavily Apple biased, but you can choose from all the recent iPhone, Macbook, iPad, and Apple Watch devices.

There are also a bunch of different backgrounds you can use.

NewPulse Labs mockup in shots.so

Where this app gets magical though is it has an option for ‘Magic background.’

It analyzes the colours in your screenshot and gives you a bunch of different options.

You can have fun playing around with it here.

🎁 24 days of design gifts

design.gifts homepage

If the gift of Shots.so isn’t enough, I thought I’d share a site that releases a new gift for designers every day in December until Christmas.

The site is design.gifts.

The gift each day varies quite a bit – from heavily discounted apps to free icon and wallpaper packs.

They cleverly made it so that each gift only lasts 24hrs, so it’s something you come back to check every day.

I can’t remember exactly what I got last year, but I definitely do remember picking up Screen Studio at a nice discount.

And that ended up being one of my best software purchases ever.

Here’s the link if you want to check out.

☁️ Closing Comments

If you ever want to discuss any of the topics in this newsletter, I usually post a dedicated thread each week inside of the NewPulse Labs Facebook group.

You can also find previous issues of The Lab Report over at https://newpulselabs.com/newsletter.

Talk soon!