The end of the year is upon us, which means it’s time to start planning for 2015! This may seem like an overwhelming request since I’m sure most nonprofits are up to your ears in planning end-of-year campaigns, which most definitely deserve your attention. I’m here today to remind you that your website deserves a bit of attention too…

A couple of months ago, I posted about some new Design Trends for websites. When you visit some of the flashy and modern nonprofit sites I mentioned in my post, (Oxfam America, charity: water and Heifer International) do you feel a little jealous? In the last few years, website design has done a 180 to support the rise of the mobile device. If your nonprofit website has not changed, it is time to play catch-up.

Good news: we can help!

While you’re buried in your end-of-year planning, Blackbaud Interactive is available to conduct a Website Health Check for your nonprofit site. Through this process, we do a comprehensive audit of your site and provide a detailed roadmap for improvements in 2015 focused on 4 key areas:

4 Icons for Messaging and Content, Findability and Navigation, Layout and Design and Influence and Engaement

  1. Messaging and Content

    It’s probably cliché to say “Content is King!” but it is even more true today with the stiff competition out there. Some nonprofits (see links above) are getting really good at storytelling with high-quality videos, giant images and infographics galore. In this area, we’ll evaluate how well your organization is communicating your impact on your website and devise a plan to improve.

  2. Findability and Navigation

    In addition to all of the new Design Trends, website navigation has changed a lot in recent years too. Gone are the days of multi-tiered section navigation and tiny-print flyout menus. Navigation needs to be simple if it’s going to work well on mobile. For this area, we’ll evaluate your navigation and site depth and suggest ways to de-clutter.

  3. Layout and Design

    Making sure your website renders properly on different devices is the obvious factor in this area. In addition, we’ll recommend ways to ensure your larger viewports are in line with current screen resolution trends, your load times are within acceptable ranges and, most importantly, that your visual identity is clear and in line with your organization’s personality.

  4. Influence and Engagement

    On top of being beautiful and easy-to-use, a great website needs to be fun, offering opportunities to engage and interact. In this area we’ll evaluate what users can do on your website. Obviously they can donate but can they share a status on Facebook about their donation? Can they use their Facebook account to comment on your blog? If not, we’ll suggest some new engagement opportunities that would work well for your organization’s mission.

You can also download our new Web Design Guide for information on building a website that converts interest into action!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lacey Kruger, principal information architect for Blackbaud, works with nonprofit clients to design online properties that work. Whether a full-scale website, a campaign site or a mobile app, Lacey guides clients through a research-based and user-centered approach to design. In her 10+ years at Blackbaud, she has developed a deep understanding of nonprofit web presences. That knowledge, along with her years of experience in information design, have established her as an industry expert.

Lacey has written a Blackbaud eBook, “A Guide to the Nonprofit Web Design Process” and her article, “Designing Nonprofit Experiences: Building a UX Toolkit” was published in User Experience magazine. She has presented at industry conferences including bbcon, IA Summit and BIG Design. When she’s not working, Lacey loves to cook and also enjoys yoga, watching movies and catching alligators (really!).

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