Kraft Foods : Messing about

An inventive company information feature says too little about itself.

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The Site

Kraft Foods, US-based food and beverage group, assumes that visitors need no prompt to trigger an attractive display of background information about the company. Kraft’s About Us section landing page features a conventional left-hand section menu and main content in which four colourful graphic icons sit in a line above a company ‘mission statement’. The icons are captioned respectively: We delight people worldwide, Eat delicious Live well, Global revenues from snacks and Leading global positions. On mouseover, an icon causes a variety of dynamic graphics to appear in the page below. For example, the ‘We delight…’ icon (a smiling face) reveals a list of facts with a focus on workforce and customers; the ‘Eat delicious…’ icon (a shining sun) reveals interactive panels and links to health information. The three non-activated icons exchange their colour for grey, so highlighting the current selection. Further interactivity is built into each display to add further information in-page.

The Takeaway

Kraft’s approach to its About Us landing page is an effective way to engage visitors, and then introduce increasingly detailed information to those who have taste for it. But it is let down by the one element that Kraft might be expected to have no trouble with: promotion. Given the initial appearance of the page, new visitors could be forgiven for assuming here was an example of cheery food company design making a mission statement more palatable, and no more. The fact the icons act as welcoming graphic tabs is neither intuitive nor apparent until after they have been activated. That the icons are actually the triggers for a dynamic information display needs to be signalled. The addition of a small indicator chevron or arrow as a suffix to captions – a well-recognised means of indicating that a click will reveal further information – would be one neat way to notify users there is more to the page than meets the eye. Alternatively, having the icons automatically show off their usefulness with an unprompted animation would also flag their function. Whatever the exact fix, a small increase in clarity would be a big boost for the effectiveness of the feature.
First published 17 January, 2012
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