From smug and self-involved to downright dull – the ‘About Us’ page on a website is always a tricky thing to get right.

Like the much-maligned FAQ page, it’s often left forgotten about.

This shouldn’t be the case. It presents a great opportunity to inject some personality while promoting brand values.

So, what does a decent 'About Us' page look like? I’ve had a quick scout about to find the brands doing it well.

Here are 10 brilliant examples to inspire you.

Cambridge Satchel Company

Cambridge Satchel Company might sound like the name of a business with real heritage, but having started in 2008 from the kitchen of founder Julie Deane, much of the brand's appeal comes from its humble beginnings.

Its 'About Us' page highlights this to great effect.

It uses large photography and short and snappy copy to explain the company's rapid path the success.

Despite being in the third-person, the tone is personal, and the references to 'Julie' sound like they are from a friend or loved one rather than a stranger.

It's not too in-depth either - users can choose to scan the timeline or click 'Read More' if they want.

It's a great example of storytelling.

Instead of explaining the company's values or product, it focuses on its successes, with the aim of inspiring others. Sort of like, 'if Julie can do it, so can you'.

Pret

Pret proves why even the most well-known brands should have an 'About Us' page.

Sure, you can read the menu or read lots of information elsewhere, but this concise and conversational page tells you all you need to know.

The copy is friendly and warm, using 'we' and 'you' to perfectly outline the brand's dedication to fresh food.

Likewise, it effectively explains its charitable endeavours without sounding preachy or like it's bigging itself up.

It's simple, but like Pret's wider strategy - it's also very effective.

Pact Coffee

One of the main objectives of an 'About Us' page is to make a brand seem human.

Pact Coffee does this by including a video of its founder explaining the company's core values.

Not only does this give you insight into the man behind the brand, but the medium itself is quick and very easy to digest.

As well as conveying what the brand stands for, Pact also takes the opportunity to target customers.

By using copy like 'we're here to help' - it highights its customer-centric values and prompts people to get in touch.

Dropbox

Dropbox explains its product in simple and easy-to-understand language throughout the entirety of its website.

In fact, it does this so effectively that it wouldn't matter too much if it didn't have an 'About Us' page.

However, it takes the opportunity to reassure users with visual stats.

This helps to build credibility - drawing on social proof to instil trust in consumers.

Of course, facts and figures can appear dull or characterless, but by including snapshots of employees and key people in the team, it reassures users that there are in fact humans behind the technology brand.

WeWork

Instead of an 'About Us' page, workspace community WeWork has a dedicated 'Mission' tab on its website.

Here it succinctly explains the brand's core motivation.

Unlike other examples I've mentioned, it focuses a lot more on the goals it still wants to achieve, rather than celebrating its previous successes.

Building on the motivational aspect, it also directly lists the brand's values.

There is an argument for this being a case of too much 'tell' and not enough 'show', however, it is still an effective way of weaving in information about the company's personal commitments, such as working in a tight-knit team and being grateful for success.

Notonthehighstreet.com

Notonthehighstreet is another brand that uses video to illustrate its story, in the form of a two-minute advert specifically created for its 'About' page.

Unlike a regular advert, it focuses on how the idea for the brand came about, bringing to life the story of its founders.

It cleverly builds on the brand's reputation for being 'unique', even extending this to how it describes its emails.

With the promise that 'our emails aren't like other emails' - it does a great job of selling itself.

Movember

Movember's page is a little childish - it overlays outlandish moustaches onto famous artwork - but it perfectly evokes the spirit and personality of the charity.

I particularly like the fact that it is functional, too, including a handy menu so you can instantly get to a specific year.

Likewise, it also uses lots of links to research and other helpful information - thereby providing greater value for users.

Airbnb

Airbnb is another brand that uses stats to create a visual representation of its success.

For new customers who might feel concerned about staying in or hosting an Airbnb, it's hard to ignore the 2m+ people who already do.

Striking a good balance between statistics and personal elements, it also lists comprehensive detail about the co-founders of the company.

The design here is a little lacklustre, but the credentials of the people behind the company are surely impressive.

SourcedBox

SourcedBox is a subscription box service that delivers healthy snacks and guilt-free treats.

Founded by social influencers Marcus Butler and Niomi Smart, it cleverly uses a YouTube video to illustrate the brand's origins.

One thing that stands out is that the 'Our Story' section is not separate or hidden elsewhere on the site.

Rather, it is embedded into the main homepage, with a nice section of user-generated content below it to help prompt consumers to sign up.

Yellow Leaf Hammocks

Lastly, Yellow Leaf Hammocks is one of the most comprehensive 'About Us' pages out there.

It's another example of great storytelling, but instead of focusing on the founder or consumer, it hones in on the people who directly benefit from the charity.

With integrated video and social media buttons, it is also one of the best in terms of design.

What's more, it takes the opportunity to prompt readers to take action rather than just passively consume the information.

It cleverly recognises that if people are invested enough to read to the bottom of the page, it's highly likely they will be keen to get involved.

Nikki Gilliland

Published 15 December, 2016 by Nikki Gilliland @ Econsultancy

Nikki is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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