The about page in theory

Published on December 14th, 2009 by admin

The about page is more than just inserting your mission statement and a brief self-indulgent picture and bio of the boss. It's the last chance you have to establish trust and get your users to perform your call to action.

What is the about page?

In essence, the about page needs to accomplish two things

  1. Provide a context
  2. Reinforce your brand

The ways you go about doing this can be varied but it doesn’t just mean slap in a mission statement and a photo. You can’t gain someone’s trust just by promising something.

Provide a context

What do you do?

If the home page doesn’t make it completely clear about what is it is that you do then this is your last chance to get it right. If it’s still not clear to them after having visited your about page then they will leave without thinking twice.

Be sure to explain what you as clear and as visible as possible. Preferably near the top with some supporting graphics.

Who is involved?

Users want to know who is behind the site that they are visiting. They want to know if they are dealing with a large organization or a single individual because then they can begin to form a mental picture of your company. What is another word for the mental picture of your company? Oh yeah! The BRAND!

Put a face to the company, use portraits of some of the of the key players as well as some background information about them.

Provide some background

Provide some background about your company or organization. A little bit of history about the roots of your company will a long way to humanizing your website.

Reinforce your brand

Establish trust

Users will want to know that they can trust you, especially if they’re going to be making their first transaction. If your site lacks credibility they aren’t going to share their precious credit card number with you.

Give examples that demonstrate strong qualities. Favor using concrete examples such as statistics or awards, these will go a lot further than your word alone.

Also provide quotes or testimonials. Ideally, these should be by recognizable companies or brands and at the very least be sure to have a link that goes to their site.

Explain why you’re different from others

You will need to give them compelling reasons to do what you want them to do. It’s quite a commitment for someone to sign up with your site and then place an order. Especially if it’s for the first time. You need to explain why they should sign up by demonstrating that you’re different and that what they get from you is not only different from your competition but superior.

Also give them concrete examples of why you’re different. For example, at Staples, the retail store. They offer 10% back to rewards members who purchase ink, they will also give $3 in rewards for each ink cartridge recycled. Sure, Wal-mart might sell them a little cheaper but Staples will reward customers each time they buy ink plus their ink recycling program shows that they care about the environment. It’s not surprising that they are the leading ink retailer in the United States.

Write it with users in mind

The web is a conversation between you and the user. Avoid using technical terms or legal mumbo jumbo. Save that for the terms of use and privacy policy!

When you speak to your users it should be in a semi-formal tone of voice, as if you’re having an intelligent conversation with another person.

Further Reading

Your about page is a robot
Best Practices For Effective Design Of “About me”-Pages
The Essence Of About Us Page With 12 Captivating Showcases

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