What can you do in seven mere seconds?
You might be capable to shuffle a deck of credit cards, text a friend a birthday celebration message, or chew plus swallow your favorite fun-sized candy bar. The point is, that’s not a lot of period. And 7 seconds is all the time you have to grab your site visitors’ attention.
This means your association’ s i9000 website visitors have short attention spans, even when they’ re visiting for a specific purpose, such as to pay dues or register for an event. To use your seven mere seconds effectively, you’ll not only need great content material and resources on your site. You’ll in addition need effective web design that provides a great user experience.
We know that designing a great website is easier said than completed, especially because you might not be the coding expert or internet marketer. But there’s no need to stress—with a content management program (CMS) built for associations, you can easily incorporate the following design best practices into your website:
- Use constant branding.
- Follow accessibility guidelines.
- Add an intranet network and private pages.
- Ensure your website will be mobile friendly.
As you design your association’s website, think through what your members need plus want from your site. Consider, “How can we make our website more helpful for our members? ” and “What types of information are usually members looking for when they check out our website? ” These questions will guide you while you design the look and design of your website.
1 . Use consistent branding.
Your association’s brand is made up of your objective, stances and values, plus visual elements like logos, fonts, and color schemes. These elements work together to show the world what your association is about. That’s why your website’s branding should be consistent with other public-facing elements of your organization, like your marketing materials plus social media pages.
Consistent branding is crucial to your website’s success for 2 reasons:
- Consistent branding allows your association and what it represents to be easily recognizable by members and the public. Great branding helps with publicity, so if you’re looking to recruit more members or get individuals to register for your upcoming conference, having a consistent brand can help them find you on the web.
- Consistent branding helps your association appear professional and organized. It’s confusing for members to see a poster for a volunteer possibility with your association that is top quality one way and then to get on the website only to see apparently different branding altogether (or no branding at all! ). What this communicates to your members is that your organization does not have its act together. To avoid this, make sure your team will be on the same page about what should and shouldn’t be integrated as part of your association’s brand across all your operations.
If you’re struggling to recognize what your association’s brand actually is or feeling like it’s a little dated, it might be time for a thorough brand refresh . Frequently revisiting and re-evaluating your brand can help your own team streamline your open public look and message plus increase your association’s brand acknowledgement among your target audience.
2 . Adhere to availability guidelines.
A single critical component of good web design is accessibility. Having an accessible website means that individuals using assistive technologies (like screen readers) are able to very easily navigate your website’s content material.
When designing your website, adhere to the web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG) . Here are some easy ways you can make sure your website is up to k?rester:
- Use text and graphics which have a high contrast ratio. A high contrast ratio makes it easier for people with visual impairments to learn your web content. Black textual content on a white background provides the highest contrast ratio.
- Choose easy-to-read fonts. No one likes to waste time deciphering a wacky font. Keep things simple by selecting a sans-serif font, as these are generally better for web content.
- Add alt-text in order to images and graphics. Alt-text describes an image or visual for a website visitor utilizing a screen reader, meaning generally there won’t be any holes in their browsing experience even though they’re unable to clearly see your images.
- Provide closed captioning and transcripts for multimedia elements. Media elements like videos can’t have alt-text, so if you’re providing important information in a movie (or a podcast), think about providing a transcript that is obviously labeled. You can also use totally free online tools to provide shut captioning on videos.
- Include an accessibility widget. The right CMS designed for associations will allow you to add an accessibility widget to your website. This puts power in the hands of your website visitors, giving them the ability to change the coloring of the website to greyscale, increase the typeface size, and highlight links for easy access.
Though following accessibility suggestions may seem like a lot of work, in the end having an accessible website will only benefit your association. An accessible web site will allow you to connect with people of most abilities who might be thinking about working with or joining your association. Plus, your popularity will likely get a healthy enhance when people see you’re creating a concerted effort to accepted every visitor to your website.
3. Add a good intranet network and private pages.
One of the greatest benefits of association membership will be the bonds your members type with others in your expert field or those who have similar interests and values. It’s part of your job as an organization leader or membership manager to facilitate opportunities meant for members to mingle, network, and advise each other. This is why a portion of your website should be dedicated to members-only resources, such as member directories, forums, job boards, private event web pages, or a members-only blog.
With a CMS built pertaining to associations, you can easily keep these types of sensitive and exclusive parts of your website secure by making a password-protected intranet network. This will help you establish a strong community within your association and prove to your members that being part of your organization is useful.
Here are some tips to ensure that your members-only web resources stay secure:
- Monitor account registration and deny any suspicious-looking registration attempts.
- Encourage your members to regularly update their security passwords.
- Consider requiring a two-factor authentication sign-in process to preserve the security of the site.
On top of providing valuable details and resources to your users, emphasizing security and developing an intranet network also shows your current and prospective members that you’re a trustworthy organization. People could be more willing to give you their contact information or payment details when they feel confident inside your web security measures.
4. Ensure your website is mobile friendly.
We’ve all experienced websites that aren’t enhanced for mobile devices, and it can be a frustrating experience to pinch and zoom to read web pages and view images that aren’t mobile responsive.
Much of what your own association does revolves close to keeping your members included and up-to-date on your procedures. This means members want to be able to find out about your upcoming events and opportunities while they are on the go, so your website should be phone and tablet pleasant.
- Use a CMS that takes care of cellular responsiveness automatically.
- Make forms like your monetary gift or dues form “thumb friendly” by including drop down menus and single insight areas.
- Make certain pop-up windows scale to mobile devices so that website visitors can simply exit out of them.
- Compress images to boost your website’s load velocity.
When your website is mobile friendly, it will be much easier for your association’s members to use it on a regular basis. Plus, a mobile-friendly website can encourage users to talk about your content straight from their cell phones, whether they’re emailing the webinar registration form to some colleague or sharing a blog post on social media .
And optimizing for mobile devices doesn’t mean you have to quit a sleek look for your website. Check out Morweb’s list of the best nonprofit sites to get influenced by captivating websites you can mimic in your own design.
Even if you have little to no web design experience, there’s no need to settle for the subpar association website. With a CMS designed with associations in mind and a knowledge of these best practices, you can design a beautiful, straightforward website that will help you get information and resources out to your members and continue augmenting lasting relationships.
This is a guest posting from Murad Bushnaq
Murad Bushnaq will be the Founder and CEO associated with Morweb. Since its creation in 2014, Murad provides acted as Creative Movie director and Chief Technologist to assist nonprofits spread their eyesight online through engaging design, intuitive software and strategic communication.