As designers we know the power of the ‘First Impression’ but as web site designers and marketeers, we also know that people like to know who they are dealing with, more so if the business transaction is liable to one of service rather than simply buying goods.
It’s all about Trust and Credibility
Public Domain from pixabay
We already know that people like to be able to see a proper ‘bricks and mortar’ address and a proper business email address (not a gmail or hotmail one) both of these seeming to say ‘this is a bona fide organisation’ to all that view.
BUT there is more to it than that, besides these basic points, a business has to put across what it does and is ‘properly’ if it is going to convice someone to contact it and potentially do business with it.
This is the job of ubiquitos ‘About Us’ page, and if it does not fuful its purpose well enough, it could well mean lost business.
So just how should it be laid out and what information should it contain?
While researching this area again (we continually update our methods in line with current trends and reports) we came across this article, which holds a link to a 253 page report on the matter. To quote the article:-
Credibility is a major issue on the Web. Site visitors who visit the About Us section are seeking critical information to determine whether or not to engage with you. Explaining who you are matters.
Tell your story and tell it succinctly. Featuring key highlights at the top-level keep users focused on the conversation and not on wrangling the content or navigation. Well-written summaries illuminate your unique qualities and earn trust.”
One of the first things that you could do is to check on the number of page views to your about us page and the number of Exits from it. There could be good reasons for people to leave your site at this point, for instance, it might contain your adress or phone number, but if the rate of exits is very high then it could well do with a rework.
The second thing to do is to think just what message you are trying to put across and whether the page does this message justice?
Lastly, you should check whether it is following the advice laid down in this article, as their research seems to show that a poor ‘About’ us page looses business….
Please visit the articles page for a whole list of Do’s and Don’ts, its all great info..
Even large organizations exist only as words and images within a browser window. How can you make people trust you more than they would trust an equally good-looking set of pixels on another site? Be a good storyteller.
The One Thing You Should Do
Based on several studies, we’ve generated numerous guidelines on how to present company information on corporate websites and in the About Us sections to increase trust and transparency. However, in this article, I focus on one major guideline to increase perceptions of transparency and improve your relationship with users. If you can do only one thing, what should it be? The answer: Provide key information on major About Us pages.
In usability studies, we observe people peeking at top-level pages for answers to foundational questions. Make sure that your site passes the first impressions test by answering top questions succinctly. People are more inclined to engage further once they’ve determined you’re worth the effort.
Start telling your story the moment people land on your site. At a minimum, write brief summaries emphasizing a few impressive facts. As people click through the main pages they should gain a fuller understanding of who you are, what you do, and why you exist. Ask yourself, “If users only skim the top pages in About Us, are they getting a coherent story?”
In many cases, what new users need most are great highlights written in a scannable format. Summaries are appealing because they provide context and reduce the amount of effort required to click through layers of content. Forcing people to work hard (even if it’s to click on a link to one level down) to receive an introduction is bad manners and reflects poorly on your organization.
Examples of Dos and Don’ts