web design

increase nonprofit website usabilityI’ve always advised nonprofit communicators to put key content up top on website pages, so users don’t have to do anything to see (or act on) it. It’s part of my “make it easy for your base” philosophy. In other words, your want to shape your nonprofit website to generate the actions you need.

So I was thrilled to discover the hard data in website usability guru’s Jakob Nielsen latest research findings: Web users do scroll down to the next “panel,” but only after investing 80% of their focus on what was first visible on the page. That means that content below the fold gets only20% of users attention. In a time of overall attention deficit, starting with 20% isn’t enough.

But but defining the fold is a real challenge: This approach works only if you know where the fold is. And that differs widely depending on browser resolution, screen size and other demands on onscreen vertical space. For those who use your site via smartphone, all bets are off.

My advice to your organization is do what you can to place key content in the first and second paragraphs on every web page — that’s first on the writing for the web success list anyway, to increase content digestion.  Your thoughts? Please email me or comment below.

P.S. Here are three more right-now website revisions your organization should make.

Nancy Schwartz in High-Impact Websites | 1 comment
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Good Things Come in Small Packages Put a Favicon to Work for Your Nonprofit Definition
A favicon (short for favorites icon) is a small graphic or icon associated with a website or blog.  It appears when you type a URL into your address bar, on the tab of your web browser and in your favorites list.

Value
Often overlooked, this tiny graphic packs a visual punch and is a simple way to reinforce your brand (or at least your graphic identity) online.  Here are the benefits of putting a favicon to work:

  • Improved usability – Users can easily indentify your website in their favorites list or when multiple tabs are open.
  • Increases recognition – When your favicon is consistent with the look and feel of your org’s graphic identity, your website or blog will be instantly recognized as coming from your organization.
  • Professional touch – Favicons are becoming a standard of online design.

Here are a few examples of organizations with striking favicons:

rwjf Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

nothingbutnets Nothing But Nets

about About.com:  Nonprofit Charitable Orgs

How to Create a Favicon
Creating a favicon is simple.  Keep in mind that a favicon should reflect your brand.  If your logo does not scale down to a small size, you’ll need to come up with a design that complements the look and feel of your organization’s website and other communications.

Here’s an easy-to-follow tutorial on favicon creation and implementation using Photoshop.  Alternatively, use this online favicon generator to create one for your site.

Flickr photo: migs212

P.S. Don’t miss out on in-depth articles, case studies and guides to nonprofit marketing success — all featured in the twice-monthly Getting Attention e-update. Subscribe today .


Amy Kehoe in Branding and Messages, Graphic Design, High-Impact Websites, Web/Tech | 0 comments
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