A visit to Novartis.com is relatively pleasant, visually, from an initial impression point of view. Decent use of white space. Nice color palette (although I am not sure how the mocha color fits in with standard Novartis branding). Information and graphics presented in a way that is not overwhelming. This site, at least, does not chase the visitor away with visual overload.
The first element that stands out is an animated rectangle which presents, via words and pictures, stories about people and/or treatments with a Novartis focus. One of these talks about their drug, and treatment program, for Malaria. Another is about LaDonna, a cancer survivor. These tangible stories about the true “deliverable” of a pharma company – changed lives through medication – are the best way to introduce the company to the public. Well done.
There is the pretty standard navigation bar (Products \ Disease & Conditions \ R&D \ About Novartis \ Investors \ Newsroom \ Career) along the top, then on the right side, some graphically pleasant boxes with key highlights (Careers, Corporate Citizenship, etc.) – a nice way to make important “destinations” easily accessible.
Beneath the animated panel, there are only four main sections – for Investors (with updated stock chart); Novartis feature (currently, an account about treating dengue fever); a place for selecting various worldwide site (drop-down navigation); and finally, Latest News, with a few hotlinks. For a major global company (which includes pharma, vaccines, consumer products, generics, and more), I’d say this is just about right – the information design shows admirable restraint in not jamming a thousand things onto the home page, but it brings forward enough up-to-date and useful information to draw the visitor in.
A click onto the U.S. site shows good consistency with the web branding and navigation scheme.