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Design can trump (pardon the word) content if it’s bad

by The NonProfit Times - October 10, 2013

As the prospective donor pool comes more and more from people who did not just grow up on computers but also expect the sleekest look and easiest access, it is important for nonprofit organizations to pay attention to the design of their Websites.

Looking good is only about being able to navigate easily; it’s also about, well, looking good.

During the 2013 Bridge Conference, representatives of Big Duck in New York City and the Environmental Defense Fund emphasized the idea of a good design for a nonprofit’s Website.

They mentioned the following issues and ways to address or head off problems.

  • Does the organization have a brand style guide or a person who is a living style guide? If not, develop brand guidelines to unify and standardize the look of the organization’s communication materials.
  • Does the Website’s visual design match the brand’s style and personality? Does it stand out from the sites of peer organizations? If not, hire a designer to give the site a new look that is appropriate for the brand and that sets it apart from the crowd.
  • Does the site look good on smartphones and other devices with different screen sizes? If not, consider making design adjustments or developing a separate mobile-optimized site, depending on audience usage patterns.


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