09.30.08

Jakob Nielson Details What to Say "About Us"

Jakob Nielson issued recommendations for About Us text in his Usability News this week. The most important thing to look at is his 4 levels of detail:

We recommend providing About Us information at 4 levels of detail:

  1. Tagline on the homepage: A few words or a brief sentence summarizing what the organization does.
  2. Summary: 1-2 paragraphs at the top of the main About Us page that offer a bit more detail about the organization's goal and main accomplishments.
  3. Fact sheet: A section following the summary that elaborates on its key points and other essential facts about the organization.
  4. Detailed information: Subsidiary pages with more depth for people who want to learn more about the organization.

This layered content presentation forms an inverted pyramid that uses hypertext to shield users from overwhelming details, while making specific information available to those who need it.

Remember good "About Us" text not only describes the products and services you sell, but how you work and should speak in your corporate voice. A simple rewrite of this important piece of text can begin to build a brand identity by being the cornerstone of presentations, proposals and documents into the future.

 Also, while the "About Us" page should normally be called "About Us," alternative links include:

  • About {company name}
  • Learn More
  • Background
  • Get to know {company name} 
Never use "mystery meat navigation" for this important cornerstone of your Web site.
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