Catlin : Integrating global and local
Deeper routes bring a web estate together.
Catlin, a Bermuda-headquartered insurance and reinsurance company, has a unique system for navigating between specific content on the central and country sites.
Catlin’s global dotcom site has a rich footer on all pages including home that features sets of links giving direct access to sections within the group’s principal regional/country sites. Six sets of links are arranged under the headings Asia Pacific, Bermuda, Canada, Europe, London/UK, United States. The links correspond with primary section headings (for example, About us, Reinsurance, Careers) within each of the regional/country sites.
The head of global pages has a Catlin Group menu bar that carries links for Investors, News & Views and Corporate responsibility. Along with the rich footer it is a permanent element in the template of the dotcom site, on which the Catlin Group site and Asia Pacific, Bermuda and London/ UK are also displayed. The Canada, Europe and United States sites are hosted on discrete URLs, with links to these from the dotcom site opening in a new browser window. Links between those on the dotcom site open in the current browser window.
The idea of using the rich footer as a navigation panel for reaching principal local sites is a novel and intriguing one, the more so when the primary menus of the featured sites are included as this allows quick direct access to specific content within each site. The attendant capability to move between local sites is less obviously useful – how many people having selected Asia Pacific will want to jump on to Canada, for example? But there is little question that the permanent presence of links to global content (in the top bar) is of value: there will be people on the Asia Pacific site who want investor information, for example – and how much better served they are than their equivalent information seekers on the Canada site
Again, the usefulness of the system (for those sites fully integrated in to it) is enhanced by the specific nature of the global links. As well as one to the group site (the most common provision, where any is made) there are direct links to global sections. For visitors this allows access from across the integrated estate to centralised corporate information alongside the provision of localised content. For Catlin it enables it to mix its global and regional voices seamlessly and effectively.http://www.catlin.com
First published on 15 November, 2011