ASML : Communicating complex technology
A Dutch semiconductor company’s educational feature serves visitors and reinforces the company’s reputation for expertise and innovation.
ASML, the self-described ‘most important tech company you’ve never heard of’, is a key link in the semiconductor supply chain. The company supplies photolithography services that help build the microchips that drive most modern technology.
The ‘How microchips are made’ page gives an overview of the complex process to make microchips via engaging text, images, videos and infographics: ‘The microchip manufacturing process involves hundreds of steps and takes up to four months from design to mass production.’
Elsewhere, microchips are compared to ‘tiny skyscrapers’, with up to 100 tiers overlaying each other. The level of cleanliness required in the ‘fabrication facilities’ is ‘about 10,000 times cleaner than the outside air.’ The page also has a concise summary of the nuances of the semiconductor supply chain under ‘Types of chipmakers’.
ASML understands that many visitors to its coporate website will have questions about what the company does, and ‘How microchips are made’ is an important part of answering that question. By taking the editorial approach of assuming no prior knowledge, and cleverly using summaries and comparisons, the feature avoids the jargon and technical language that ‘innovation’ sections are often filled with.
The feature is useful for visitors who want to understand the company and industry, but it also reinforces ASML’s reputation for expertise and innovation. One weakness is an infographic on the page; while informative, we found it difficult to scroll through on both desktop and mobile devices.
Companies that make technology are obvious candidates to adopt a similar approach to explaining their products, services and industry. However, other sectors, even those perceived as dull, do things that seem interesting if presented in the right way.