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Planning & Strategy

Understand the baseline
Undertand objectives, assets, and user needs

Organization: What is your mission?
Website: How will you use your website? What are your organizational objectives? What will you do online to support those objectives?
Audience: What do your audiences want? How will you support their needs using your website?

Surveying Users’ Needs

Research your audience and ask them what THEY want on your site:

  • stats analysis
  • online surveys
  • focus groups
  • task analysis
  • cognitive walkthroughs
  • user scenarios
  • personas

Visual Design
Create a visual identity, reflect brand, unify the user experience
Organizational structure ≠ ideal information architecture
The step between envisioning your design and creating it: develop a moodboard (a collage of visual elements that evokes a certain mood)

when “good design” goes wrong

Audience segmentation

The audience matrix = easy way to…
Stay focused on your audiences
give consideration to your own organizational needs
start building user-centric information architecture
ultimately create a design that works with your usability needs

Column 1
List audiences
Column 2
What do they need?
Column 3
What do you want from them?
Column 4
Preliminary sitemap ideas

Testing & Analytics

  • Design decisions made not only on aesthetics, but on the speed at which a user can complete a task
  • Focus on making people use their computers more efficiently
  • Design decisions are driven by cognitive psychology research and A/B testing
  • Design standards are captured in a global style guide which requires usable code

Where should you incorporate user testing into the redesign timeline?
How long does it usually last?
How do you implement new design ideas at that point in the process?

Determine your top entry pages and make incremental adjustments

2 environments:

  1. You have an ongoing presence and you want to see what’s working/what’s not
  2. Complete site redesign

So process goes like this:

  1. Audience research
  2. Document audiences, their needs, your needs
  3. Develop a sitemap
  4. Develop wireframes
  5. Now you can design for all of these site elements

Branding

(And how does it connect to your website?)

Elements of a strong nonprofit brand:

  1. Organizational: vision mission, values, objectives, audiences
  2. Conceptual: personality, positioning statement — internal only
  3. Visual: logo, colors, fonts, imagery
  4. Written: name, tagline, mission statement, key messages, boilerplate
  5. Spoken: elevator pitch
  6. Experiential: programs spaces, website, social media, print, phones

Determine Your Audience’s Needs

  • Google Analytics
  • Surveys
  • Create user persona(s)
    • write up story about who your users are
    • what’s their age, comfort level with the web, etc.
  • User testing
    • sit next to someone and do a website scavenger hunt
    • ex: if you wanted to donate to our org, where would you go?

Case Studies

CrossCultural Solutions

  1. Invest in CMS
  2. Incorporate years of volunteer survey comments
  3. Incorporate staff feedback
  4. Develop user personas
  5. Design multiple wireframes (>6 by site launch)
  6. Relate site to CCS community
  7. Planned site map with SEO/SEM
  8. Use brand manual and style guides
  9. Learned from Google Analytics, HeatMapping!

Lessons Learned

  • Keep brand manual, style guide, project brief on hand throughout design and implementation
  • Commit to ongoing brand development. Launch, revise, launch, etc. (keep in mind phase 2 and 3 of website!)
  • More user testing by stakeholders before launch (allow more than a few days!)

How to Get Started

  • Look at your qualitative and quantitative data
  • Listen to buzz, and embrace the positive brand love
  • Learn from your peers and other key players you feel are in a non-competing position