Corus Entertainment : Switching sides

Deep content has nowhere to go.

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The feature

Corus Entertainment, Canada-based media and entertainment company, struggles against the limitations of its site to cater to financial analysts. Corus’ Investor Relations section is the largest in the Corporate area of its dotcom website. Its 11 sub-sections are set out in a conventional left-hand navigation menu and cover a standard range of topics such as Corporate/Financial Highlights, Calendar of Events, Corporate Governance and FAQ. All pages within the section also carry a set of six Financial Archives links in the right-hand column, below a stock (share) information panel. Four of the links open ‘orphan’ pages that belong to no section. They do not show the Corporate left-hand navigation but retain the right-hand column from Investor Relations, including the Financial Archives menu. The first link, Press Releases, opens the Press Releases section, which does not have the Financial Archives menu; the final link, SEDAR, launches an external regulatory filings website in a secondary window.

The takeaway

One test of a complex website is how well it handles deep-level content. Corus has run into a problem literally of its own making that forces it to adopt an unconventional and initially disorientating approach to presenting its Financial Archives. Logically it should be in the left-hand section menu and that looks more than comprehensive enough to reinforce the expectation analysts would have to find it there. The reason the archive menu is on the opposite side of the page is the site’s construction: it is not set up for content more than one level deep, so no sub-section can nest its own clutch of headings. (This is almost certainly because the design of the dotcom site was dictated by the four product-related areas, such as Television and Radio, with which Corporate shares the platform.) The work-round does a good job in the circumstances of managing what is a helpful and well-stocked feature, but still has one usability flaw – the unexpected jump to the Press Releases section that deprives analysts of the archive menu. Even within the site’s constraints it should be possible to create a page for the financial sub-set of releases and integrate that with the Financial Archives feature. And someone could ask the designers if it really would be beyond them to add another level of nested links to the left menu.
First published 11 April, 2013
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