Website Redesign Process: Staff Bios

The staff information page should be one of the easiest to put together — after all, you already know who works for you and what they do, and you must have everyone’s resumes on file somewhere. The staff page tends to be fairly factual, and if yours is like the average website, only about 10% of your visitors will even visit this page. If you don’t have pictures of everyone handy you can call a photographer or get everyone to congregate in the hall and take a picture (we’ve done that for clients before). Easy, right?

In fact, if there is one page that most often holds everything up while information and images are gathered, it’s the staff page.

Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re redesigning your staff page:

  • Try to be consistent. If you want to have lengthier bios for senior staff and a little bit for junior staff, that’s okay. In general, though, try to have about the same number of words or lines or text for each individual, include the same type of information, and maintain the same tone. The custom of letting each person write his or her own bio can lead to things like this:

“Ms. Jane Lee, VP of Marketing, is a graduate of Wellesley and has extensive experience in sales and marketing.”

“Hey, I’m Buddy, Director of Sales! I’ve been married to my lovely wife Marsha for 14 years!”

  • That goes for pictures, too. We’ve worked with clients who’ve had an assortment of casual snaps, wedding portraits, and professional headshots on their staff page. This doesn’t lead to a cohesive team look. For ours, designer Tom Hapgood chose a collection of casual shots that capture everyone in a friendly and authentic way. We’ve done some sites where putting everyone in the same spot in the office, in uniform, with the same lighting better conveys the company image. Whatever you choose to do, stick to your choice.
  • Remember it’s all about trust. In general, people who make it to your About Us page, which is where most websites keep the staff bios, are looking for reassurance before they hire you or buy from you. This is the place to share your degrees, your publications, the fact that you’re a family business or that you’ve been in the same location for thirty years. If your organization is one where the specific qualifications of the individual staff members matters — as in a medical or law practice, for example — you might want to have individual pages for each member of the team.
  • Make sure the info is up to date. Lots of our clients discover when they look at their new staff page that they have outdated information. It’s easy to miss updating this data, and there are things you don’t think about updating until you have a new website in the works. Has someone married and changed her name? Are the emails and extensions different for a worker who got a promotion? Did someone complete a degree or add a license? Is there a new staffer you hadn’t gotten around to putting on the website? This is the perfect time to double check and make sure all your staff information is current.

We’ve had so many changes in our company since we last updated our website that the process has led us to a lot of great discussions and a certain amount of soul-searching. This can be great for a company — and the staff bios page can be greatly improved when you take the time to do that thinking.

6 thoughts on “Website Redesign Process: Staff Bios

  1. Timely article, Rebecca! We’ve just been discussing our staff page – the photos, the bios, etc. Ours is seriously out of date and inconsistent in every way. Now when folks want me to show a photo of them with their dog, or climbing a cliff, etc. – I’ll tell them with even MORE conviction that consistency is the way to go.
    Thanks!
    s

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