Pharma Web Branding, Part 3 – J&J

This is the third in a series on home page design for pharma companies (an industry where I have a lot of interest and involvement). Today – J&J. A company with many admirable qualities. Though, the home page is not necessarily one of them!

The Johnson & Johnson home page simply has too much going on. The immediate visceral reaction is one of being overwhelmed – there are so many features and sections that the effect is not to draw in, but repel.

Furthermore, there is a poor use of space, as a large open white field is left unused to the right (not shown in the graphic below), which is assuming smaller monitor sizes than perhaps the vast majority of the population now uses. Therefore, the site feels even more “cramped” than it should due to a compressed layout.


This is what I’d call a “working” interface – that is, you’re going to be working to find what it is you want! Now J&J is a big, multi-faceted company, with a bunch of operating companies, and that makes the challenge of an intuitive interface even tougher. But a jumble is not the answer.

What would I do differently? The one thing that ties of all J&J together is its (rightly renowned) Credo, and I’d make that the dominant feature in the site, since that is a key J&J corporate differentiator. Right now, it’s referenced in a section to the left – I’d make it front-and-center, and have different sections of it show up on a rotating basis. Then, as a key “storytelling” part of the site, I’d feature different ways – both internally (with employees) and externally (with clients) – that the Credo has had its impact. One well-known instance is the Tylenol recall of days past.

Because there are so many audiences, operating companies, and products, I think I’d want to create a sophisticated navigation widget that starts with the question, What are you looking for? Then, based on some main choices and sub-choices (to pinpoint who the user is, what therapeutic area or product they want to know about, etc.) the user would be directed to one or more relevant destinations.

I’d also break up the main page into “main theme” centers – Investor Center, Career Center, Company Center, Product Center, News Center, Community Center – and more logically range many of the choices now scattered all over the home page into sub-pages for each center.

There are many good information streams here. The big gap is confusing arrangement. With some creative information design, this site could be a whole lot more appealing.

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