Sharpen Your Website! Throughout the month of May, TechSoup is sharing a variety of resources on web design and development for nonprofits and public libraries.
Last week, we profiled Gateway to the Arts' recent overhaul of its website as part of our Sharpen Your Website campaign. One thing I love about Gateway's site is that it breaks down its three primary audiences — students, educators, and artists — in an extremely easy-to-understand way. This site was built with a keen understanding of who would visit it and what they'd want to find.
We've already talked about building your website around key actions that you want your visitors to take; once you've identified those key actions and made them easy to take, what if you threw everything else away? Enter One-Pager.
One-Pager was an experiment by library consulting firm INFLUX to see what a library website would look like stripped down to its bare essentials. As Nina Simon pointed out in her blog post about One-Pager, the main feature people look for on library websites is search. So why not make search front-and-center? Other important information is in expandable modules below, so users never have to leave the homepage to find what they need. In its simplicity, One-Pager looks as nice on a mobile device as it does on a computer.
You can download One-Pager for free and customize it for your own organization's needs. While it might not even meet the needs of every library, let alone every organization, I think it's a huge step in the right direction.
Over the past year or so, I've been writing a lot about nonprofit web design and looking at lots of nonprofits' websites. One thing I keep noticing is that people talk about their own organizations' websites differently than they talk about other organizations' websites. When we're looking at others' sites, we value simplicity and transparency. But we want our own nonprofit's site to reflect the complex minutia of the organization's mission, message, and branding. We want other sites to be about the user, but we want ours to be about the organization. If you can buck that trend by building a truly user-friendly website, you'll make a big difference in how people see your organization.
Photo: Katherine, CC license
Staff Writer, TechSoup
Elliot - this is a great article. May I repost a shortened version on my organization's blog (blog.cedam.info)? I would of course credit the source and link back to here.
Sure! Our blog is licensed Creative Commons, so you're welcome to re-post provided you give Elliot credit as the author and link back to his original post. It'd be great if you'd share a link to your post in the comments once it's live too, so we can share and comment on it as well!
Excellent stuff, as usual. I wonder how this approach would most effectively suit complex nonprofits? I am growing more and more fascinated by content management and design, and have to wonder if it's possible to use a one-page design with many expansions (similar to the +/- on One-Pager's 5 FAQs) and lightweight fly-outs to give gateways to every major component of a nonprofit's info. I haven't mastered all of the terminology yet, but I'd love to see something slim like this convey a deep message.
Just thinking out loud. Thanks again for this!
I've been writing a lot about nonprofit web design and looking at lots of nonprofits' websites. One thing I keep noticing is that people talk about their own organizations' websites differently than they talk about other organizations' websites. When we're looking at others' sites, we value simplicity and transparency. http://www.escologics.com/
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