Urenco : Enriching the company structure

An organisation chart doubles as an intuitive menu

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The feature

Urenco, a UK-based civil nuclear fuel company, provides an organisation chart that adds to understanding of its worldwide structure. Urenco’s primary About Us section menu is headed by a Company structure link that opens a page given over to a large interactive graphic showing the component parts of the group and how they fit together in a hierarchical ‘tree’. Each constituent is represented in a box that in all but one case (Urenco Finance) leads on click to a dedicated information page in the Company structure sub-section. The individual operations can also be browsed from a conventional expanded Company structure menu in the left-hand navigation. This menu has one component, Central Technology Group, which does not feature in the organisation chart.

The takeaway

Given the corporate embrace of Powerpoint culture it is surprising how few companies provide a simple visualisation of their structure to aid understanding of how they are put together. This is one area where a slide can do the work of a thousand words and Urenco not only distinguishes itself by exploiting that, it also enriches the presentation for the web by adding an interactive element. Users can thus speedily identify parts of the business and their context in the bigger picture, and use the chart as a menu for navigating to detailed information. The sense of transparency and willingness to explain that the feature creates sends out a positive message about the company, especially given the sensitive sector in which it operates. It could, however, do more to enrich the experience. For example, by making the interactivity overt (with a written caption or visual clue); showing the full chart without the need to scroll; and eliminating the disjoint between the chart and the left-hand Company structure menu. An intermediate ‘pop up’ summary between the chart and information pages would also help browsability by retaining the ‘sight map’ until users were ready to explore in depth.

First published 30 August, 2012
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