Samsung UK : Reducing interest

A poorly chosen word puts people off.

click to view

The feature

Samsung UK, a national subsidiary of the Korea-based technology company, chooses the wrong words to stimulate interest in its contribution to society.

Samsung UK presents its range of corporate information in one section, About Samsung, of its consumer-focused site. The left-hand navigation menu of its landing page is expanded by default to show the full range of topic headings, which are grouped by business name: Samsung and Samsung Electronics. The final item under Samsung is PR Movie. There is no Samsung index page (clicking ‘Samsung’ opens the first menu topic, Values and Philosophy) offering further information.

Clicking ‘PR Movie’ opens a page that briefly sets the scene for two videos exploring the theme ‘What makes your life better?’. One is compiled from people’s responses when Samsung asked them the question; the second, longer, film illustrates how Samsung’s businesses are “dedicated to making the dream of a better life come true”.

The takeaway

When navigation headings come in for criticism, almost without exception it is because they lack clarity about the subject matter to which they lead, so causing users to hesitate or risk frustration if they make the wrong interpretation. Samsung UK provides that rare exception – a heading that is so precise and unambiguous that users will hesitate to go further or assume a negative interpretation.

‘PR Movie’ is indeed what you get if you follow the link – two, in fact – and they are indeed public relations productions. But the accuracy here is unhelpful, because the term ‘PR” to most users is so heavily loaded with assumptions about being ‘spun’ a corporate line that they are more likely to be prejudiced against rather than persuaded by any message that so starkly introduces itself as ’PR’. At the least the heading needs to drop its PR element; replacing it with something equally functional could help with engagement. Perhaps making it better, as in ‘’Better life” movie’, would be appropriate.
First published 11 March, 2014
< Back to Tips