Land Securities : Interpreting jargon

Added features power up a guide to terminology.

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The feature

Land Securities, UK commercial property company, provides an advanced glossary to help explain its business. Land Securities includes a universal Glossary link as the first item in a utility string at the top of pages. On mouseover, a lay over panel is generated that explains that while “every effort has been made to keep our website free of jargon” the company is providing a glossary because “some words, phrases and acronyms may need further explanation”. The panel also contains a keyword search tool for the glossary. If it recognises the term entered a short definition is revealed. Alternatively, a button is included to access the full glossary, which has an alphabetic Quick Links filter. This page is launched directly if the initial Glossary link is clicked.

The takeaway

Most companies find themselves in the situation of Land Securities when they set about presenting themselves to the world beyond their own industry. However much they try to talk in layman’s terms, some insider terminology is going to intrude. The idea of using a site glossary to help translate the jargon has an obvious logic. Land Securities takes it a step further than is normally applied, however, by ‘tooling up’ its link.

The prominent position at the top of the page lifts the glossary’s visibility, but it is the addition of browsing features that shows Land Securities is serious about its self-given mission to explain. The mouseover access, dedicated search and embedded results are helpful innovations that mean browsers can consult the online dictionary without leaving the page they are on. That presumes they understand how it works, which is not immediately apparent and not explained anywhere – and not something the glossary itself can help with.
First published 09 May, 2013
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