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How to Create an Amazing About Us Page

17 Jun

About Us pages are one of the essential elements of a trusted website (see How to Make Your Website Seem More Legitimate); however, most people dread writing them or treat them as an after thought. But, with a little creativity, you can turn an ordinary “About Us” page into something really interesting. In this post, we’re going to take a look at three examples.

Most “About Us” pages are so banal they could be used as sleep aids for insomniacs. Other “About Us” pages at the other end of the spectrum  make the company look like boy scouts pulling a sled of orphans up hill through a snow storm because they’re so unbelievably glowing and one sided. One thing you won’t find is a scandal, except in the case of this Sandals Royal Plantation Resort where they talk about employee poaching, misguided romance, and a host of other activities …

Plantation Inn’s very first manager was the universally respected Cy Elkins, who brought over many of Jamaica Inn’s best staff to the new hotel. At first this symbiotic arrangement seemed to work out well. But, when Cy left Gloria for another love, she never forgave him, both for his desertion of their marriage and his pilfering of Jamaica Inn’s treasured staff members! Over his time at the inn, Cy’s greatest coup took place when he somehow managed to obtain the services of Theophilus Caiaphas Palmer of Ocho Rios, one of only two Jamaican Sommeliers to have trained in France under the watchful eyes of acclaimed oenologist, Alex Lichine.

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Planning And Implementing Website Navigation

7 Jun

The thing that makes navigation difficult to work with in Web design is that it can be so versatile. Navigation can be simple or complex: a few main pages or a multi-level architecture; one set of content for logged-in users and another for logged-out users; and so on. Because navigation can vary so much between websites, there are no set guidelines or how-to’s for organizing navigation.

Designing navigation is an art in itself, and designers become better at it with experience. It’s all about using good information architecture: “the art of expressing a model or concept of information used in activities that require explicit details of complex systems.”

Organizing Navigation Structure

Perhaps the most difficult part about navigation on the Web is organizing and designing it. After all, coding it can be relatively easy. In this first section, we’ll go over some methods and best practices for organizing navigation, which can lead to a more intuitive user experience and higher conversion rates.

Primary vs. Secondary

Most websites, especially those with a lot of content or functionality, need navigation menus. But as a website grows in complexity, guiding users to that content and functionality shouldn’t be the job of any one menu. All of that content just doesn’t always fit in one large menu, no matter how organized it may be. While many websites need more than two, all websites have at least two main menus: primary and secondary.

Primarysecondary in Planning And Implementing Website Navigation

You might assume that the primary and secondary navigations are marked in a wrong way on the image above, but I believe that this is not the case.

Primary navigation stands for the content that most users are interested in. But importance is relative; the type of content linked from the primary navigation on one website may be the same kind linked from the secondary navigation on another (for example, general information about the company or person).

Secondary navigation is for content that is of secondary interest to the user. Any content that does not serve the primary goal of the website but that users might still want would go here. For many blogs, this would include links for “About us,” “Contribute,” “Advertise” and so on. For other websites, the links might be for the client area, FAQ or help page.

If you’d like to learn more about primary and secondary navigation, “Understanding Site Navigation: Key Terms” is a great article with detailed explanations of different navigation terms, including for primary and secondary menus.

The first job in organizing navigation is to organize the content. Only after the content has been organized can you determine what is primary and what is secondary, and then you can determine the location and navigational structure of any remaining content. Content that fits neither the primary nor secondary navigation can go in other menus, whether a sub-menu, footer menu, sidebar widget or somewhere else. Not to suggest that primary navigation cannot go in these areas of the page; there are many instances where primary navigation is best suited to the sidebar or in drop-downs.

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