Advise for Designing (or Redesigning) a Nonprofit Website

Nedra Rutherford
Published on May 14, 2018

Advise for Designing (or Redesigning) a Nonprofit Website


Does your organization need a website? Do you possess a website which is badly in need of an change? Depending on the size and needs of the organization, you may need professional help, or you may be able to design and style the site under one building. This article will assist you to understand the important steps that go into the website development process and what sort of methods you’ll need for every single step.

In case your organization is building a fresh website from scratch – or perhaps updating an existing one – you may need to count on professional help with regards to design and implementation. The following guidelines will help you plan and design a refined, functional internet site that satisfies your company needs.

This post focuses on the high-level management and planning decisions you need to make at the time you design or re-design your internet site. We’ll discuss some of the main phases of any design task, some of the language and jargon you’ll encounter, and the equipment and skill sets you will need.

Steps in the net Design Procedure If the procedures described listed below seem a lttle bit overwhelming, keep in mind that different jobs follow varied patterns. If your site is normally small , you are able to skip some of the steps beneath or use a minimal amount of time on them. However , large design and style projects can become overwhelmingly complicated and topsy-turvy if you don’t program carefully.

1 ) Preliminary conversations: Start by speaking with colleagues, board members, customers, and other stakeholders about the intended audience and desired outcomes. These are high-level queries, but you have to raise them early along the way:

• Whom are you planning to reach together with your website, and what behaviours are you planning to encourage?

• Are you able to maintain and update the website if you’re envisioning using your current staff and volunteers?

• Will you deal with the project internally or perhaps hire a web design organization?

• How much money are you experiencing for this job? Can you obtain a grant for that layout (or redesign)?

• Can you use a content management system (CMS) or maybe a static, HTML-based website?

• Will you number the website yourself or make use of a web webhost?

• How will the people in your target market find the newest site?

• Accumulate all the conditional and record information you may have about your current website. This data will allow you to measure the achievement (or shortage thereof) of the new site. In other words, how does the traffic on the new site out-do the visitors on the previous site?

The outcome of these initial get togethers is a job plan and/or a request proposals (RFP). A project package usually provides a high-level information of the job, a fb timeline, a budget, a description of deliverables and final results, and a definition of the roles and assignments.

2 . Put together your workforce or retain the services of a web style firm: Right now, send the RFP to a handful of web site design companies. Talk to to see types of their past work, ask for references, and meet with the very best candidates in person if possible. Keep in mind that a response for an RFP isn’t a binding arrangement. Once you’ve picked a company, handle them to draft a Statement of (SOW). This can be a formal, agreed upon agreement that outlines the expectations and deliverables in both sides, as well as price and payment information.

3. Products on hand existing content material and arrange for new content material: Assign anyone to look through ezines, file machines, brochures, listserv postings, and marketing materials pertaining to content you may repurpose. Assuming you have an existing website, assign anyone to review and categorize a few possibilities, looking specifically for pages that happen to be outdated, inaccurate, or imperfect. Even if you have a lot of existing content material, the start of a new or remodeled website signifies a good opportunity to evaluate the top quality of your exterior communications.

4. Gather requirements: Though you should have several idea by now of your total goal, upon having a team in place, it is advisable to hold an additional round of meetings and conversations. When you’ve hired an online design firm, it should help in these talks and ask specific departments and stakeholders what each one hopes to complete with the fresh site, and what features they want to highlight.

You should also bring your personal examples to the table. Try to become specific of what you like and dislike about the examples you’re reviewing. If you have a preexisting logo, an existing color palette, or perhaps organizational design and style guidelines, communicate those obviously to your web team. Tell them your overall design and connection philosophy, in case you have one.

some. Create design documents: At this moment, the web design team generally creates several prototypes and mockups to provide stakeholders something concrete and specific they can respond to. As i have said previously, really cheaper to modify your site during the initial design phase than during the enactment phase. Nevertheless , it’s not free. Asking your team to provide five sets of design docs for you to select from, each having a different design and layout, is certainly expensive and time-consuming. Requesting them to modify their models endlessly is also expensive.

Good web design firms take this level of the method very very seriously, as should you. They often make use of a formal production to unveil the design docs and demonstrate their decisions. To avoid misunderstanding and misconceptions later on, each of the major stakeholders should indication off and indicate their particular approval before implementation commences.

6. Execution and expansion: After most people have a chance to review the design docs and sign off about them, your web-developers start to make the website. Depending on the size of your web blog, this will take anywhere from several weeks to weeks.

During this stage, you have to strike a balance between a lot oversight and too little. You can ask for regular reviews and usability medical tests, but excessive meddling can prolong the method and boost the cost.

Site development occurs on a tests server that resembles your live production server whenever possible. At this stage, then your make any kind of changes to your live internet site.

7. Examining: With any new or redesigned web-site, you will encounter problems. Your site may have bugs, worn out links, and features that don’t act as advertised. A few features of the site will befuddle your target audience. With respect to the size of your internet site, you should plan on testing anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. There are several assessment methodologies, almost all of which are outside of the scope of this article, nevertheless we’ll summarize a few of the better-known techniques. Quality assurance (QA) examining: QA refers to the basic study of functionality. Will the site check and action the way you expect it to in all the major web browsers employed by your target audience? Be sure to examine sudden behaviors and expected kinds. For example , a site often functions fine till someone types letters in a field suitable for numbers just.

Usability screening: Usability exams get you as close as possible towards the real connection with an end user. You or someone with your web design workforce observes the finale user when he or this girl attempts to do a list of jobs. The user with this situation must be relatively unfamiliar with the site.

Vulnerability evaluating: Websites certainly are a popular concentrate on for viruses, hackers, and also other malicious Net dwellers. A vulnerability screening tool will probe your site and report back regarding any holes or disadvantages it reveals.

Stress testing: Should you expect many visitors to your site, you will discover tools readily available that imitate heavy traffic.

eight. Launch: After everyone has approved the site and it’s been thoroughly tested, you’re all set to transfer that from the hosting server to your production server. Back up the existing web page so you can spin back if necessary. As you’re here migrating articles and liberating new features, stay in touch with your matters and let them know what to expect. Finally, fill in your WEBSITE to all the search engines thus they find out it’s a chance to index or perhaps re-index your web site.

9. Constant maintenance, outreach, and production: Throughout the planning and rendering process, think about what you’re here committing to. Simply how much staff period will it choose to use keep the content fresh and troubleshoot problems on the site?

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