Telus  : Keeping faith

A tried and tested feature shows its enduring value.

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The feature

Telus, Canadian telecommunications company, makes use of a well-tried feature to spread understanding of its approach to corporate social behaviour.

Telus augments its online Corporate Responsibility Report with a link in its left-hand universal navigation to a FAQ (frequently asked questions) page. Thirteen questions are displayed individually in coloured boxes, which expand when a downward-pointing chevron is clicked to reveal an answer that may run to several short paragraphs. Phrases or terms highlighted within an answer can lead either to an external website (for example, a Computers for Schools program), which is clearly signalled to open in a new window/tab, or reveals an information pane on mouseover.

The external links but not the mouseovers are embedded in the PDF download version of the report, which also carries a glossary that is not offered online.

The takeaway

FAQ pages are a feature of corporate websites that have stood the test of time as a useful way of expanding on or explaining information within the online context. Which may, contrarily, be a reason they are seen infrequently in periodic online reports, where the accent is more usually on novel devices and gimmicks as a means to engage attention and emphasise the cutting edginess of the publishing organisation. Telus does not set itself up in conservative opposition to modernising touches – its use of section-leading infographics is both ‘on trend’ and constructive – but it recognises the sense in keeping the baby when changing out the bathwater.

Importantly for its effectiveness, the implementation of the FAQ feature is well-handled, using expand and related-display devices to deepen the information and make it browse-friendly. The questions are also well-chosen (or well-framed, if they are not actually frequently asked) to help surface key messages from the more detailed report. A shame, nonetheless, that no place could be found online for the glossary.
First published 06 May, 2014
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