Oracle : Unseeing I

Two useful menus suffer from a lack of visibility.

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The Site

Oracle, US-based provider of enterprise software and cloud services, underplays a highly efficient quick links tool. Oracle’s busy home page has a utility string at top right that features two dropdown menus headed ‘I am...’ and ‘I want to...’. The string is ever-present across the site in the same location. The ‘I am...’ menu offers 12 common visitor types for users to identify themselves from. The list includes Java Developer, Job Seeker, Analyst and Student. The ‘I want to...’ menu to the right of this presents a list of typical user requests and needs, including actions such as Attend Training, Download Logos and Check Oracle Earnings. Both menus lead the user directly to relevant content in the web estate (subsidiary sites are covered as well as the dotcom). For example, ’I want to Attend a Partner-Only Event’ leads to an events search tool that is automatically filtered to display only Oracle partner events.

The Takeaway

Oracle’s website offers a wide selection of services and the nature of the company’s products will attract an eclectic range of visitors to the site with diverse requirements. The two ‘I’ menus present simple shortcuts that aim to fulfil these needs quickly. But while they are well set up to deliver, their ability to do so is seriously hampered by their overly discreet positioning. The menus have been intelligently integrated with the web estate yet are almost unnoticeable on the busy home page thanks to their being secreted in a small font among the other options in the utility string. This seclusion works against their reason for existing, as many arrivals at the page will fail to spot the shortcuts. Making the menus more prominent on the home page, either by increasing their size, making them a feature or signposting them, would boost their effectiveness and ensure they do not go to waste.
First published 24 November, 2011
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