Thomas Cook : Packaging profiles

An efficient method of presenting people profiles saves time and clicks.

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The Site

Thomas Cook Group, a UK-based travel agency, presents management and executive résumés neatly and economically. Directors and Management is a single page sub-section of About us on the Thomas Cook Group's dotcom site. A tabbed photo index panel on the right of the page displays small head-and-shoulders portraits for each executive group alternately, captioned with names and job titles. Clicking on any of the executives listed causes their professional résumé to appear in the content area to the left of the index. The browser view simultaneously adjusts downward to bring the profile and portrait to the top of the visible page. Subsequent selections refresh the biographical content with no change to the page configuration.

The Takeaway

Thomas Cook’s presentation of executive profiles takes the feature to a higher level of usability than more commonplace approaches such as use of conventional left-hand menus, expandable text or overlay panels. The photo index gives an appealing and appropriate ‘human face’, access to biographies is intuitive and immediate, and the ability to switch quickly between profiles facilitates and encourages engagement. The approach is faster and more efficient than overlay panels, where each profile must be closed in order to return to the menu. Its index also has advantages over expandable text (which typically displays only the name of an executive when collapsed) as the name, title and image of the director are integral to the default display. The ease of switching between profiles is complemented by simple but neat coding that means the page does not reload when choosing a new biography. Instead, the browser view remains fixed optimally on the profiles as users move through the list of executives.
First published 07 June, 2012
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