Tuesday, February 1, 2011

“About Us” Evaluation: Universal Health Services, Inc.

Founded in 1978, Universal Health Services (UHS) is a one of the largest healthcare management companies in the United States, owning and operating over 30 hospitals and 100 behavioral health centers. The company was profiled in Forbes on 11/22/2010. UHS’s About Us page is here.


Because we are often in a hurry when we browse the web, we have two Big-Picture criticisms of UHS’s About Us pages. First, we visited the site several times before we discovered that the About Us section included more than the pages that appear at the left of the main page (Prestige Awards, UHS Timeline, UHS Facilities). Several more options appear in a pop-up menu on the top navigation bar, but until we happened to hover our mouse over the About Us tab, we never realized they were there. Navigation here, or anywhere else on the site, should always be easy and obvious.

Second, we’d like to see the mission statement, corporate strategy, and capital strengths combined (with subheads) to give us a quick overview on the main About Us page. Within that page, give us links to pages that provide further details, if we have the time and interest to pursue them. Mission statements in particular often ooze with self-speak that holds little interest for outsiders.

Products/Services: C

Two pages of the About Us section are outstanding. The Awards page is impressive by sheer length. We like the summaries that appear when we click on a particular award. The only improvement would be to include links to articles in the media about these awards. That would send us to the best stories that the media has been publishing about UHS. Too many companies miss their chance to use their website to direct visitors to positive media coverage about their companies.

We also applaud the UHS Timeline. It’s elegantly laid out and nicely illustrated. We do wish that there were an option for seeing the whole timeline at once (perhaps as a PDF?), so we didn’t have to click on year after year to get the full story.

Accessibility: B

The Corporate Information and Contact Us pages could both benefit from the minor change of having a direct link to the web page with the email form.

Personality: D

In its About Us pages, UHS unfortunately comes across as a faceless corporation. This is surprising given that its founder, Alan B. Miller, is still chairman and CEO. Miller is a frequent guest on TV and a published author. He’s won countless awards. But although he is listed on the pages for the Officers and the Board of Directors, we’re given no quotes from him, no sense of what drives him. Since he set the direction of the company and has kept it moving, information about Miller is information about UHS. We’d like to see a short, punchy bio of him--the sort of information given in the article in Forbes of 11/22/2010.


Always assume that readers of your About Us page are interested in your company and your products, but are pressed for time. To that end: If you have more than one About Us page, make sure the most important information appears on the main page. Make sure that the other pages are easy to find, by links and by the navigation structure. And allow visitors to opt out of long flash presentations or PowerPoint style presentations with a one-page version or a downloadable PDF.

Does your Web site’s “About Us” section accurately convey your organization’s history and capabilities? Every two weeks we evaluate one example, grading it in three areas that are key to potential customers: Personality (Who are you?), Products/Services (What can you do for us?), and Accessibility (How can we reach you?). Contact us if you’d like to have your site evaluated—there’s no charge and no obligation. Today’s example was chosen at random; CorporateHistory.net has no ties to this company.