Tuesday, December 27, 2011

“About Us” Evaluation: Scalamandre Gets a D

Scalamandre, Inc., founded in 1929 by Franco Scalamandre (1898-1988) and headquartered in Ronkonkoma, N.Y., produces high-end textiles, trims, wall coverings, and carpeting. Its niche market is reproduction of such items for the restoration of historic homes and antique furniture. Scalamandre fabrics have been used at the White House, the United States Capitol, and The Breakers and the Marble House in Newport, Rhode Island. The company’s about us page is here.


Personality: E

The Who We Are page, which is featured at the top of the list of options on the home page, sends us to a box set against a huge white expanse, then takes a disproportionately long time to load scrolling text in an ugly font in a tiny box. We can’t easily skim the text or read it as a block. There are no illustrations with the text, although several historic renovations are mentioned.

Even worse than that is the fact that the only image on this page is a few inches of fabric at the edge of a bolt. For 80 years, Scalamandre has produced textiles stunning for their colors, patterns, and textures. What a wasted opportunity that blank white space is!

Products/Services: D

Examples of Scalamandre’s products are buried under the unrevealing menu heading House Tour, which turns out to include extensive descriptions of historic homes such as The Breakers. The Collection page offers more images, but reaching them requires multiple clicks, and the pictures (apparently from interior-design magazines) include many products that are not by Scalamandre.

Accessibility: C

The Contact Us page offers a mailing address, telephone, fax, and email, but the page is only available from Who We Are.

The tagline on the Contact page says, “America’s manufacturer and importer of the world’s most beautiful fabrics, trimmings, wall coverings and carpets.” This needs tweaking (why mention importing if the company’s main focus is manufacturing?), but some form of it should appear on the Who We Are page and elsewhere.


Scalamandre, a company that produces works that are a delight to the eye, needs to incorporate far more visuals in its website.

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.