Gallup : Messing about

A company information section reveals less than it could.

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The feature

Gallup, US-based opinion poll organisation, risks leaving people interested in learning about the company with their questions unanswered. Gallup has no company information section in the primary navigation of its dotcom site. An About section features in the site’s rich footer, where six topics are listed in its menu: About Gallup, Contact Us, Careers, Experts, Senior Scientists, Speakers Bureau. All but Careers open pages in an unlabelled company information section where the secondary navigation runs across the top of pages in a horizontal bar. It shows eight headings, of which four mirror the selection in the footer (About Gallup and Careers are excluded) and four are unique to the location (Jim Clifton CEO, George Gallup founder, Store and FAQs). The eight headings are ranged left over the main content panel, leaving a gap over the related links panel before the right-ranged heading ‘More…’. Mousing over More triggers a dropdown panel with three further topics – Global Offices, History, About Gallup – the second and third of which open pages in the section (Global Offices opens on a Strategic Consulting minisite).

The takeaway

For an organisation that sells itself on gathering insights about people and their thinking, Gallup provides a surprisingly poorly structured experience for anyone trying to find out more about it. That the main signpost for ‘about’ content is rooted in the rich footer is not too unusual, given the services-oriented focus of the primary navigation. Where confusion and inadequate direction come into play is in the content of the About menu in the footer compared with in section, and the odd hiding of three items, including the company history, behind a ‘More’ button. The footer menu is clearly viewed as an opportunity to present a set of quick links, so is not exhaustive but inevitably courts confusion because of the use of ‘About’ as its heading. ‘Corporate’, the identifier used in page URLs for the content ( would be clearer (and could also usefully be used to label the section). Why, though, the three items – two of which, History and About Gallup, must be of prime interest to anyone wanting to learn about the organisation – are kept from view in horizontal navigation is more of a mystery. There is unused room in the menu bar that could accommodate them. Suspicion falls on the site structure, as the gap in the bar corresponds with the right-hand related links panel, though the ability to place the More button there argues against. Perhaps Gallup ran a poll and found its users just aren’t that interested in the organisation and its history – or that its managers have other content to prioritise.
First published 15 August, 2013
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