William Hill : Gambling on a grid

A UK betting company’s home page overwhelms visitors with image panels.

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The feature

William Hill’s corporate website home page has a series of image panels below the scroll line, with the invitation to ‘explore’ the company’s press releases, corporate announcements, features, etc.

On a standard desktop monitor, the image panels are arranged in a three-column grid, collapsing to a single column when the responsive site adjusts to a smartphone screen. A filter lets visitors select categories such as Financials, News and media, Responsibility, Innovation and About William Hill.

The takeaway

The topic grid, which appears to be modelled on news sites such as the BBC, misjudges how corporate website visitors find information. Some corporate audiences, such as analysts, want direct routes to the pieces of information that they need, and will use the primary navigation. Pushing corporate messages to them in a complicated grid below the scroll line is unlikely to work.

Even corporate website audiences with more time to explore and get to know the company, such as jobseekers, are unlikely to be impressed. The grid is below the scroll line, making it harder to see; the number of panels is overwhelming and not differentiated enough; and the headlines are uninteresting, based on internal categories such as ‘media releases’ rather than things audiences will be interested in.

News sites can get away with panel grids because visitors come there expecting to browse; corporate websites need to be more creative to draw people in.

First published 01 June, 2016
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