Monday, January 23, 2012

“About Us” Evaluation: OpenChime Gets a B+

Submit a request for a service--pet care, plumber, accountant, security guard--and OpenChime will gather quotes from local businesses and email them to you. The two million vendors in its database pay a commission of their choice (on the honor system!) if OpenChime matches them with a project. OpenChime, established in 2011 and based in Chicago, is the brainchild of two young MIT graduates. Its About Us page is here.


OpenChime had to tackle the question: What do you say on an About Us page if your company is new, your service is unique, and your leaders are young and unknown?

Products/Services: B

Not every company needs multiple About Us pages. As a new company based on a novel concept, OpenChime does. The About Us menu offers links to What Is OpenChime?, Team, Customer FAQ, Business FAQ, Press, Privacy, and Terms.

On the What Is OpenChime? page, OpenChime’s management is shown in a group caricature rather than a photo. This cleverly glosses over their age and makes them look like a team, without the expense of company T-shirts. On the Team page the caricatures are used separately as “portraits” of the leaders.

The Press page is attractively laid out: the links and logos for major media coverage (NBC, the Chicago Tribune, etc.) add authority to the headlines.

Even though the services OpenChime can help us find are listed as a menu across the top of the page, we suggest adding some of them in the text. People reading intently for information don’t always look at the graphics and menus of the web page.

Personality: B

The ebullience and energy of the OpenChime founders and staff are obvious from the text on the What Is OpenChime? and Team pages. In fact, the text on these pages verges on being a bit too clever. We don’t find out what the company does until three lines into the first paragraph of the What Is OpenChime? page.

Given this, it’s reassuring to find that they can be simple and straightforward. On the Terms page, the standard legal mumbo-jumbo is accompanied by a “Human Translation” that makes it easy to comprehend.

Accessibility: A

At the foot of every page is not a Contact Us link, but actual information: mailing address, email, phone number. Well done!


Even a company with less than a year of a history can create an About Us page that helps entice and reassure customers.

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; has no ties to this company.