Monday, August 13, 2012

“About Us” Evaluation: Modcloth Gets an A

Modcloth, an online retailer, was launched in 2002 by Carnegie Mellon students Susan Gregg and Eric Koger. The site specializes in vintage and vintage-inspired clothing, particularly clothing by independent designers. As of 2009, annual revenues were over $15 million. Modcloth’s About Us page is here.


Products/Services: A
The main About Us page starts with a brief statement about what the company does, who founded it and what drives it. Then, under subheads, it goes into progressively more detail about the Modcloth Community (indie designers, customers who are also “buyers”) and the company’s history. The page ends with prominent links for fashion bloggers, job-seekers, and media.

Although this is a long page, the hierarchy is spot-on and the headings, short paragraphs, and frequent graphics (most showing the company’s products) make it an enticing read.

We like the Testimonials page, which includes dozens of comments from satisfied clients. The Press page has images of the covers of magazines that mentioned Modcloth. In an intelligent twist, rather than linking directly to the stories, the cover images link to Modcloth Blog posts that provide links to the products featured in the article.

Personality: A plus
Life at Modcloth (accessible from the side menu on the About Us page) is aimed at both potential clients and job-seekers. The quotes from employees and the slideshow at the top give a good sense how the company operates. Incidentally, if the “Life Is Good at Modcloth” section were at the top of the About Us page, we’d be bored; but after we’ve read about the company, its founders, and its employees, the phrases seem to have some meaning: “mutual respect and dedication,” “team-oriented,” “rewarding, challenging, and meaningful work.”

We particularly like - and seldom see - a page devoted to the founder. A long interview reveals why Susan Gregg-Koger started the company, what she loves about it, how she runs it, and what day-to-day operations are like. Susan created and embodies the company’s personality. And how clever to include a full-length photo of her wearing one of the company’s dresses that’s so pretty it may make some women want to search for it all over the Modcloth site! The biography of Winston, the office pug dog, adds a homey touch. Who was it who said: “For those who like that sort of thing, that is the sort of thing they like?”

Accessibility: A Plus
We were perplexed for a minute when we couldn’t find a Contact Us page. Eventually we clicked on “Customer Care” instead, and discovered a pop-up box with options for email, phone, or a live chat session. The box also includes a FAQ and links to other useful pages. Social media icons are in the footer of every page. The Press Kit is available from the left menu of all the About Us pages. Well done.

Modcloth’s About Us pages keep the product in sight at all times and vividly convey the personality of those who founded and run the company.

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.