Monday, July 6, 2015

Dockers: “About Us” Evaluation by Corporate

Dockers, established in 1986, is the division of San Francisco-based Levi Strauss & Co. that’s devoted to khakis and casual accessories. It’s a leading brand of business casual clothing for men and women. We were curious to look at Dockers because it’s part of a larger company, but has its own brand. The main About Us page is here.

The biggest flaw in this set of About Us pages is that we found them via a Google search, and can’t find a link to them on Dockers’ own site.

The main page has two headings, each with a distinctive tagline: Our Products (“Well-crafted comfort to help conquer the day,” with links to pages on size and fit) and Our Company (“A rough and tough work ethic is deeply rooted in our family tree”). Below these are links to Contact Us and Careers. It’s a simple, clear layout that works almost as well on a desktop as on mobile. (In fact, these pages are among the least offensive mobile-friendly pages we’ve seen, in terms of layout, because the header images are much less high than wide. Hence on a desktop screen, they don’t fill all of the prime above-the-fold real estate.)

Products/Services: A
Under the Our Company heading on the About Us page are links to About Levi Strauss & Co., History and Heritage, and Social Responsibility.

About Levi Strauss & Co. has a pithy statement linking the current brand to the long corporate history of Levi Strauss. One minor glitch: this opening statement says the first blue jeans were created in 1853. Further down the page, under “Our Values,” the “Originality” blurb gives the date as 1873. Our Commandment 9 of About Us pages is, “Worship clarity.” An error such as this leaves the impression that someone isn’t minding the details.

The Timeline (“History and Heritage”) is good corporate storytelling. It focuses on the long history of khaki pants at Levi Strauss, then offers nostalgic glimpses of pop culture (Seinfeld) and advertising history (“Nice pants!”). Haute couture and culture are represented by names such as Alexander Wang and Vanity Fair. Each timeline entry has an intriguing headline, a short blurb, and an archival image – all large enough to see easily. Having done a timeline or two ourselves (such as this one for California’s State Compensation Insurance Fund) we appreciate the design and content of the Dockers example.

Personality: D
The Timeline is excellent for showing where the company has been, but not for showing what its current goals are. No information or links are given for the company’s leadership. Mentioning Levi-Strauss as a parent company doesn’t fill this gap, since there are no links to Levi-Strauss’s leadership team, either.

Accessibility: E
The Contact Us page (accessible via the main About Us page or the Help link in the footer) is elegant in layout but quite confusing. The options are “Find a Store” or “Get Help.” Clicking “Get Help” sends us to a page with the options “Contact Us,” “Send Feedback,” “Find a Store,” or “Top Reads” (a FAQ). But clicking either “Contact Us” or “Send Feedback” takes us right back to the Contact Us page. So in fact, the only ways to reach Dockers are via the 800 number in the footer and the online email form that is (we eventually noticed) below the fold on the Contact Us page.

Our Commandment 8 of About Us pages is, “Remember to make yourself and your organization easily accessible.” Dockers, do you really want to hear from us?

Have a fresh pair of eyes (or two or ten) look at your About Us pages for obvious errors, including whether those pages can be easily discovered and whether visitors to the site can contact you easily.

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