6 of the Best About Pages on the Web
Short of ideas for your new About page? Well, we all need a bit of web copy inspiration sometimes. Here are six of the best About pages on the Web, each full of creative copywriting and smart design.
“Who the hell reads the About page on a company website?” a fool asked me recently.
“I do,” I answered. If I’m thinking of signing up to something online – especially if it’s a small company I’ve never heard of – I go straight there.
I look for answers to important questions. Does the company physically exist? Are they credible? Why should I choose them over the thousands of other options Google just gave me? If ‘About us’ helps me out with these, and I like what I read, then I’m much more likely to use the website.
But if About pages are so useful, why do people think nobody reads them?
Maybe it’s because so many are deathly, deathly dull.
You click on them, you start reading, but pretty soon you’re wondering why you bothered. Instead of building customer confidence, badly written About pages make their owners sound like amateurs, or worse.
It can be difficult, even for a seasoned web copywriter, to make them creative and interesting. After all, not every organisation has a vision to “reach for new heights and reveal the unknown”. Not all companies have a history that starts with a poor Swiss orphan boy landing in England hundreds of years ago.
That’s why we all need a bit of inspiration sometimes. Here are six of the best About pages I’ve found on the Web – and they’re full of great copy and page design ideas.
“About us, in 140 characters or less”. That’s the heading of the first section of IGN’s page, and it’s a guideline many companies would do well to follow. Give us the essential stuff first, make it easy to digest, and then let us dig deeper if we want to. Visit the page.
2. Hot UK Deals
A good About page doesn’t necessarily have to give your company’s history or stats. It’s really there to reassure readers that you’re a credible outfit. Hot UK Deals’ About page focuses on how transparent and open it is, because that’s what the company believes its users might have concerns about. What will reassure people about your company? Read HUKD’s About page.
Here’s an example that shows you don’t need a huge name to write a great About page. it’s simple, charming and doesn’t waste anyone’s time. Check it out: we’re given the company’s story, vision, product info and a testimonial, all in five short paragraphs. Perfectly baked. See how it turned out.
I actually preferred 37signals’ old About page, which required much less scrolling. But this is still a great example of how to make a company history accessible, with its graphical timeline of milestones that’s very easy to dip in and out of. I just wish they’d made it shorter, and focused more on 37signals’ own achievements. Take a look for yourself.
At the centre of HBO’s About page, surrounded by concise info on its various programming and services, is a single summary sentence. A company needs confidence to be so brief – perhaps the kind that comes more naturally when your brand is already enormous – but if you can pull it off, customers might just have more confidence in you. Read the page.
Tumblr is all about simplicity, and this extends to the blogging service’s About page. Look how easy it is to simply scroll down the page and get the flavour of each neatly compartmentalised section, without actually having to do too much reading. That’s great web copy. Have a read.
As you can see, I like straightforward About pages where the most important information leaps out at me from the screen.
But what do you think? Are my examples really the best About pages around, or have you seen better? Share in the comments below.