Tips for Designing (or Redesigning) a Nonprofit Web site

Coty Feil
Published on May 14, 2018

Tips for Designing (or Redesigning) a Nonprofit Web site


Does your organization desire a website? Do you have a website which is badly searching for an overhaul? Depending on the size and needs of your organization, you may want professional help, or you may be able to design and style the site in one facility. This article will help you understand the important steps that go into the web site design process and what sort of information you’ll need for every single step.

When your organization can be building a new website from the beginning – or updating a current one – you may need to count on professional help in terms of design and implementation. These kinds of guidelines may help you plan and design a polished, functional site that meets your company needs.

This article focuses on the high-level administration and preparing decisions it is advisable to make as you design or re-design your website. We’ll talk about some of the main phases of the design job, some of the vocabulary and jargon you’ll face, and the tools and skill sets you might need.

Steps in the internet Design Method If the methods described down below seem a bit overwhelming, remember that different projects follow several patterns. When your site is small , you are able to skip a few of the steps down below or spend a minimal amount of period on them. However , large design and style projects could become overwhelmingly intricate and chaotic if you don’t schedule carefully.

1 ) Preliminary discussions: Start by talking to colleagues, aboard members, clients, and other stakeholders about the intended target audience and preferred outcomes. They are high-level inquiries, but you will need to raise all of them early in the act:

• Who have are you looking to reach together with your website, and what behaviors are you looking to encourage?

• Are you able to maintain boost the website you’re envisioning along with your current personnel and volunteers?

• Will you take care of the job internally or perhaps hire an online design organization?

• How much money do you own for this task? Can you obtain a grant for the design (or redesign)?

• Will you use a cms (CMS) or a static, HTML-based website?

• Will you host the website your self or use a web webhost?

• How will your target audience find the newest site?

• Accumulate all the conditional and statistical information you may have about your current website. This data will assist you to measure the accomplishment (or lack thereof) of your new internet site. In other words, how exactly does the visitors on the new site compare to the traffic on the previous site?

The outcome for these initial get togethers is a job plan and/or a request proposals (RFP). A project plan usually incorporates a high-level explanation of the project, a timeline, a budget, some of deliverables and effects, and a definition of the roles and assignments.

2 . Put together your staff or seek the services of a web style firm: At that point, send the RFP into a handful of web design companies. Consult to see types of their earlier work, look for references, and meet with the best candidates face-to-face if possible. Understand that a response to an RFP isn’t a binding contract. Once you’ve picked out a company, assist them to draft a Statement of Work (SOW). This really is a formal, agreed upon agreement that outlines the expectations and deliverables about both sides, along with price and payment details.

3. Inventory existing content and cover new articles: Assign anyone to look through newssheets, file machines, brochures, listserv postings, and marketing materials with regards to content you are able to repurpose. In case you have an existing internet site, assign someone to review and categorize this, looking particularly for pages that happen to be outdated, inaccurate, or incomplete. Even if you experience a lot of existing articles, the kick off of a fresh or remodeled website shows a good possibility to evaluate the top quality of your external communications.

4. Accumulate requirements: Though you should have a lot of idea chances are of your total goal, after getting a staff in place, it is advisable to hold some other round of meetings and conversations. Should you have hired a web design company, it should facilitate these chats and ask person departments and stakeholders what each you hopes to accomplish with the fresh site, and what features they want to point out.

You should also deliver your private examples in the relationship. Try to always be specific as to what you like and dislike about the articles you’re reviewing. If you have a preexisting logo, a preexisting color palette, or perhaps organizational style guidelines, converse those clearly to your web team. Inform them your overall design and style and interaction philosophy, if you have one.

five. Create design documents: At this time, the web style team usually creates a lot of prototypes and mockups to provide stakeholders anything concrete and specific that they may respond to. As mentioned previously, is actually cheaper to modify your site during the initial design and style phase than during the execution phase. Yet , it’s certainly not free. Asking your staff to provide five sets of design docs for you to select from, each which has a different design and layout, is definitely expensive and time-consuming. Requesting them to change their models endlessly is usually expensive.

Very good web design organizations take this stage of the method very significantly, as should you. They often make use of a formal introduction to discover the design paperwork and teach you their decisions. To avoid turmoil and misconceptions later on, each of the major stakeholders should signal off and indicate all their approval prior to implementation begins.

6. Rendering and creation: After we will not a chance to analyze the design documents and indication off on them, your web-developers start to make the website. With respect to the size of your web site, this will take anywhere from several weeks to months.

During this stage, you have to strike a balance between a lot oversight and too little. You can inquire from for routine reviews and usability assessments, but a lot of meddling can prolong the procedure and enhance the cost.

Site development takes place on a diagnostic tests server that resembles your live development server whenever you can. At this stage, you mustn’t make any kind of changes to your live site.

7. Tests: With virtually any new or redesigned website, you will encounter problems. Your site will have bugs, smashed links, and features that don’t work as advertised. A lot of features of the web page will mix up your target audience. Depending on the size of your webblog, you should consider testing between a few days to a few weeks. There are several examining methodologies, most of which are over and above the range of this article, but we’ll explain a few of the better-known techniques. Quality assurance (QA) assessment: QA identifies the basic study of functionality. Does the site appear and act the way you proceed with the expectation that it will in all the main web browsers employed by your target audience? Be sure to examine sudden behaviors and expected types. For example , a web site often functions fine until someone types letters in a field created for numbers only.

Usability screening: Usability studies get you as close as possible towards the real experience of an end consumer. You or perhaps someone on your web design team observes the finish user as he or the lady attempts to carry out a list of duties. The user from this situation must be relatively not familiar with the site.

Vulnerability examining: Websites can be a popular concentrate on for viruses, hackers, and also other malicious Net dwellers. A vulnerability tests tool will certainly probe your websites and record back about any holes or weak points it uncovers.

Tension testing: In case you expect many visitors to your site, you will find tools readily available that duplicate heavy visitors.

8. Launch: After everyone has permitted the site and it’s been thoroughly tested, you’re ready to transfer that from the hosting server to your production web server. Back up your existing web page so you can move back if necessary. As occur to be migrating content material and releasing new features, stay in touch with your constituents and let all of them know what to anticipate. Finally, send your WEB LINK to all the major search engines hence they understand it’s time to index or re-index your blog.

9. Recurring maintenance, outreach, and development: Throughout the organizing and execution process, consider what occur to be committing to. How much staff time will it decide to use keep the articles fresh and troubleshoot concerns on the site?

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