Building a Responsive Website Is Key to Engaging Your Audience

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With more than 51% of web traffic viewed on mobile devices (and growing), it’s a no-brainer to make sure your nonprofit’s website is optimized accordingly. People aren’t just looking at social media or emails on their phones and tablets anymore — they’re creating sophisticated videos, filling out important forms and paperwork, coding on the go, and of course, taking action on the causes they care about.

 

Fortunately, building a responsive website or email newsletter is much easier these days. There are a few key things to think about when creating a responsive site for your nonprofit community — and of course, these are dependent on what you’re actually asking your audience to do.

 

If you want more engagement online, or want to reach more people that can support your organization, then you absolutely need to ensure that the things you want them to do are easy to do!

 

Consider the these four suggestions:   

1. Keep Away Clutter

Trying to navigate a crowded website on a desktop monitor or laptop is hard enough, but when you switch to a smartphone or tablet, it’s a nightmare. If someone visits your site on the go, you don’t want them to have wade through dozens of menu items, or a homepage bursting with 47 pieces of content. Focus on the basics like who you are, what you do, how to take action (don’t forget that big donate button!), social media buttons, and contact us. For more information on site navigation and call-to-action need-to-knows check out this article.

 

2. Less Steps Means More Action

The last thing a donor wants to do when trying to give a quick $10 via their phone is to fill out 15 different fields on a janky form. That’s the easiest route to an incomplete donation. Again, stick to the information you absolutely must capture in that moment: name, email, and credit card information. Don’t add all kinds of questions about preferences and such — you can follow up with them later to get more details. Same thing goes with email subscriptions: you only need the email to start, at most, a name. If you want some more tips on “What types of questions to ask on a form?” or “How many questions is too many?” check out this article.

 

3. Make the Most of Media 

We all know that people love looking at videos and photos on their devices, especially on the go. You want to avoid too much content and maximize your design for content that’s easy to view, share and act upon in the moment. While you can design your full website to feature beautiful, long-form storytelling, you’ll want your mobile website to highlight stunning photos and short videos that share what you’re about and that compel people to take action immediately after.

 

4. Mind the Three Cs: Clean, Compact, Colorful

When designing for mobile, you need to remember that your content is likely to get overshadowed if your site isn’t attractive or intuitive to navigate. While all modes of your site should essentially be the same in theme and content, you need to be especially cognizant of how it appears on smaller screens. So, prioritize what you want people to see and skip the bells and whistles if they don’t add anything. Pay attention to where the “fold” lies and avoid endless scrolling. Experiment with and test contrasting colors that make your content pop, but are also friendly in a smaller format.

 

At the end of the day, your website is there to guide your visitors to take a particular action. Make it as easy as possible for them to get there. If you want to see an example of a website that includes these four suggestions, check out the site we designed and developed for the Case Foundation. Top Nonprofits ranked it as one of the best nonprofit websites of 2016.

 

Have any questions or interested in discussing your nonprofit’s website further? Don’t hesitate to reach out at nate@creativesciencelabs.com or tweet us your question @creativesci.

About author

Nate Andorsky

Nate Andorsky

Nate is Co-Founder & COO of Creative Science Labs. He applies his entrepreneurial skills and business acumen to ensure that Creative Science Labs' clients receive top-notch service and products. A self-taught developer, his extensive knowledge of technical solutions allows him to bridge the gap between CSL's internal design/development team and clients. Prior to joining Creative Science Labs, Nate was a team member of the Startup America Partnership (launched in support of the White House). He is also a member of the Young Entrepreneurs Council and holds a BA from George Washington University with a concentration in Entrepreneurship.

5 comments

  1. Dave Wilson 14 March, 2017 at 20:56 Reply

    Went to Acumen.org on my iPhone and it would not load? IPad ok and desktop ok. Is is not responsive? was the #1 on the top sites list.

    • Amy DeVita 17 March, 2017 at 10:02 Reply

      Hi Dave,
      Sorry..just seeing your comment now. Perhaps a fluke? Maybe an issue with service? I just visited on my iphone and it renders beautifully…Acumen website responsive

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