AIA Group : Falling markets

An interactive dropdown makes a graphic impression.

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The feature

AIA, a Hong Kong-based life insurance group, has a novel way of introducing its geographical footprint. AIA’s primary navigation bar includes Our Markets in its six section headings. On mouseover all six display a dropdown section menu, but for Our Markets this takes the form of an interactive map of the Asia Pacific region. Clicking on a country name leads to a conventional information page on the selected market. The dropdown also includes is a discrete link to an Our Markets landing page, where a larger version of the map is shown.

The takeaway

AIA’s inclusion of an interactive map within one of its primary dropdowns is more than unusual enough to make an instant impression on visitors, most of who will be expecting a list of links to the company’s various markets. Instead they are met with a more engaging presentation of the country names menu that adds an immediate and graphic impression of the group’s geographic distribution. Beyond that it retains the practical value of a dropdown, offering quick links to section content. The feature does have a weakness, in that its interactivity is not obvious and may not be intuitive to users. The same is true to a lesser extent of the larger-scale map on the Our Markets landing page, but the size and location of the dropdown version make it more likely visitors would assume it is a simple illustration. A visual live-link clue or click-to-access instruction would unlock the full potential of the feature.
First published 16 October, 2012
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