The “About Us” page on your website is one of the trickiest to plan. So when I visited Dr. Tom Hapgood’s beginning web design class at the University of Arkansas, I was very interested to see the variety of approaches the students had taken to this important page.
Make sure that it is.
Your “About Us” page is the closest you can get to a face-to-face meeting online. This is the page where you should put your staff or family photograph, your letter from the CEO to the customers, your two generations of experience or fifty years in the same location. The people who visit this page may just glance at your picture and your signature and, reassured, move on to place that order or send that donation. But they may also be willing to stay and read all your details. Sometimes it depends on how much money and information they are contemplating sending to you. So you need a design which will send an immediate reassuring “You can trust us” message, but one which can also accommodate more in-depth content than you may choose to offer on other pages.
Dr. Hapgood’s class was designing a website for the University of Arkansas Master Chorale. I gave them the content for the “About Us” page, so that was generally the same. But they found a variety of design solutions for the “About Us” problem, and they’ve allowed me to share them with you.
I also liked the way the text was divided, though for this design I’d probably write another little paragraph in the middle to keep the two columns balanced. The sense of movement in the photo keeps the eye moving and increases the chances that visitors will spend more time exploring the page.
Whether they read the entire page or not, visitors will get the idea that the Master Chorale is a vibrant organization, worth joining or supporting.
Ashley Kerksiek’s design has an overall elegance and charm. I like the sense of movement in the watermark at the left, and the way it balances the focus of the banner and the photo. The navigation buttons are understated, but the use of space keeps them clear and easy to find.
This design separates the history of the Chorale from the director’s bio, giving the visitor a feeling of exploring more deeply — or of having the option of doing so, which is just as reassuring.
If you look back at these pages, you’ll notice that all four used the same basic shape: a narrow column on the left with one or two wider columns comprising the bulk of the page, and a banner at the top. And yet each designer gives a different look and feel to the page. These students are beginners; this is their first full web site. And yet they’ve used color, space, and line to accomplish the goals of the “About Us” page.
Have a look at your own website’s “About Us” page. Does it serve its purpose? Does the content make your company sound human, likeable, and trustworthy? Does the design help your visitors travel through the page — and the site — in the most useful way? Giving your “About Us” any needed tweaks or refreshing can make a difference in your conversions.
I’d like to express my thanks to Dr. Hapgood and his students for allowing me to share their designs with you.