Johnson & Johnson : Seeing double

Identical Twitter icons for different corporate channels are time-consuming and confusing.

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The feature

Johnson & Johnson’s careers microsite has a list of eight social media icons in the footer. Among familiar signposts for LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube, as well as three company-specific channels, are two Twitter icons.


One leads to the Careers Twitter feed, and the other to ‘J&J University’, a channel for students. To distinguish the icons, visitors must either mouse over them and read the text labels, or click to find out where they lead.

The takeaway

About four years ago, we wrote a BC tip about the confusing way Johnson & Johnson signposted its social icons – at the time it had two Twitter icons on its home page. The double-icon has since been dropped from the recently relaunched main site, but survives on the Careers microsite.

The point of an icon is to provide a quick link to a known destination. The icons of the main social channels used on many corporate sites are instantly recognisable and therefore save visitors time in their journey to external sites.

However, using two Twitter icons is immediately confusing; especially when one of the links is to an unconventional ‘university’ feed. As we pointed out four years ago, icons that require extra explanation are counterproductive – they do not speed up journeys, but slow visitors down as they pause to find out where they are being sent.
First published 07 December, 2016
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