You only get one chance to make a first impression, and your About Us or About Me page says a lot about how you approach your work and present yourself. Visitors will often check out your About page first – particularly if it has a prominent link or your website is quite small – so take the opportunity to make the most of it. It also gives you a chance to keep visitors on your website; don’t make them go to Twitter or another social network to find out more about you.
About pages allow you to show what you know and write about what you’re interested in, so it’s essential to come across as approachable. Below we’ve put together some tips for creating effective About pages and included some examples of great inspirational designs.
Tips and tricks
• Work to your strengths – if you’re a designer, let your images speak for themselves. If writing’s what you do best, make sure your page reflects that.
• Avoid the hard sell; it’s not what your visitors are looking for at this point.
• Don’t try too hard…especially if you’re trying to be funny. If you can’t think of something humorous to say, then don’t worry about it (unless you’re a comedian of course).
• Don’t make it an essay – make it easy to read. You can always offer people more information by linking to other pages, using tabs or providing downloads if necessary.
• Proof read it carefully, and then get someone else to check it over.
• Make it consistent – whether you decide to use ‘I’, ‘we’, or simply your name.
• Have it written for you – If you’re never happy with your About page or find it awkward to write, ask a friend or colleague to write it for you (you can always return the favour).
• Think about tone – ideally you want to balance friendly and approachable with professional.
• Don’t alienate people – avoid coming across as condescending, but equally don’t assume that your visitors have the same knowledge and understanding as you.
• Use professional photos where possible – They create a much better first impression. You could always try greyscale photos if you can’t get professional ones.
Ideas for your About page
• Your achievements and experience (and if you’re a company, landmarks)
• How long you’ve been working in specific areas
• Professional (and personal) interests
• How you ended up in your industry
• People or brands you’ve worked with
.Be creative with your presentation – think about using graphs, charts, images, cartoons, professional photos, amusing photos and even video to get your points across.
Your About page will benefit from some kind of call to action, so think about what the next step should be for visitors. Should they check out your work? Look at pricing? Contact you directly? Make sure you make it clear where the visitor should go next.
13 examples of great About pages
Deda.me: A creative and engaging about me page which is simple, but subtly introduces examples of design skill.
WebEffectual.com: A great example of how a photo can give a page a lighthearted feel whilst the text remains on topic.
AshfallDesign.com: A visually interesting way to present your experience and interests.
SEOmoz.org: There’s plenty of information, but the images break it up well and the text is clearly structured.
AndrewReifman.com: Blending professional and amusing into a polished finish.
Gumisig.com: A great example of how you can be funny and keep visitors interested.
ThreadBird.com: Consistent presentation is essential, and keeping text brief can work well when you have several team members.
37Signals.com: A simple but effective way to present your achievements.
NgenWorks.com: If you don’t like the idea of having photos of yourself on your website, cartoons (or even abstract images) can work well, and can be used as avatars across social media sites for consistency.
AmazeeLabs.com: Being creative with the way you present your photos means you can stand out from the crowd.
LilaAndClaudines.com: A good example of matching your About page to your work; if your business is based on visuals/creativity, focus on your images and design.
SprocketHouse.com: A good example of how you can sit professional information alongside personal details.
BDAdvisory.eu: This is a great example of a smart, professional page.