Monday, March 25, 2013

INSEAD: “About Us” Evaluation by Corporate

INSEAD is a truly global business school, offering Master of Business Administration, Master of Finance, PhD in management, and various executive education programs. It has campuses in France, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi, plus partnerships with the Wharton School and the Kellogg School of Management. INSEAD’s main About Us page is here.


Products/Services: C
In terms of navigation, the best feature of the About Us page is the tab labeled “One-click access,” which pops up a well-organized site menu. Great content is wasted without great navigation. (See our Commandment 7 of About Us pages: Keep Navigation Easy.)

Unfortunately, the content of INSEAD’s About Us pages isn’t stellar. The main text of the page, in five small, dense paragraphs, needs to be broken up with headings and bulleted points (degrees offered, campuses, partnerships). A link to 50 Alumni Who Changed the World and a more prominent link to Faculty and Research would be great additions. As it stands, the list of Publications is more enticing than the main About Us page: it summarizes the programs offered and has visuals as well.

The events on the timeline demonstrate INSEAD’s global scope: well done. The 50th-anniversary logo reminds us that this school has a long, solid reputation. We don’t mind that the anniversary occurred in 2007: it’s great to show pride in your corporate history. However, we mind very much that once we click on the logo to visit the 50th anniversary site, we’re stranded, with no links to take us back to the current pages. Big mistake!

And here’s an even bigger one. Having read all INSEAD’s About Us pages, we still didn’t know what “INSEAD” means. Is it a foreign name? An acronym? Wikipedia reveals that the school was originally the Institut Europeen d’Administration des Affaires (European Institute of Business Administration).

At, we revel in primary documents, real or virtual. We do not consider Wikipedia a scholarly resource - but it is a terrific way to find out what people want to know about you, so you don’t miss obvious points. In the Wikipedia article on INSEAD, the explanation of the name is in the very first paragraph.

Accessibility: B
Aside from the standard information, the Contact page (accessible via a link in the header) offers Quick Links to degrees, faculty, and alumni. In the lower part of the page, the collapsible list of departments with phones and emails is an elegant solution to a list that fills several pages when expanded.

Personality: D
Under Who We Are, the Constituencies link defaults to bios of the school’s interim deans. Why not the chairman, who presumably sets the direction of the school? But the chairman’s bio doesn’t talk about his vision for the school’s current and future goals, either. Nor does the Mission statement. Of its five points, only two are directly related to business education, and nothing here indicates why we’d want a degree from INSEAD rather than Wharton or Harvard Business School.

Don’t overlook the obvious: check Wikipedia or other outside sources to see what people want to know about you.

 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?). Today’s example was chosen at random; has no ties to this company.
To talk about your About Us page, contact us!