07-28-2011 6:14 PM, EDT
Hi. New to Network for Good- what a wealth of information! Thank you! Participated in a recent webinar you offered which discussed and reviewed website design. It was terrific. Would if be possible for you to take a look at our website and offer advice? We are currently discussing a website redesign and would be very grateful for any advice you have. Thank you. Our website is: http://www.pittsburghgospelchoir.org/
08-02-2011 12:04 PM, EDT
Hello and welcome! I'm glad to hear you're finding some useful information. If there's anything specific I can help you find, please let me know.
It's great that you are seeking out information before embarking on a website redesign! This in addition to interviewing some of your stakeholders (whether they are board members, choir participants, donors or people in your community) will help you identify what users are really looking for when they visit your page and the most important messages you want to communicate. Since it sounds like you are still in the exploratory stage, I also highly recommend checking out the book "Don't Make Me Think" by Steve Krug (more info here: http://www.sensible.com/) for some really great (and easy to understand) insight on how people use the web and how to design to compliment it.
Overall I think your site now is a great start. It's simple and the navigation is easy to understand. Often when we redesign, we tend to overcomplicate things or add too much, when what we really need is to simplify them. (This is spoken as someone who has experienced a lot of website redesigns in my career!) I hope you can keep this simplicity at the core of your updates. I also like that you have the upcoming events prominently featured and a good description of your organization front and center. You may want to consider how you can condense both of these statements into a more concise version. While you do have your donate link clearly listed, I would even recommend adding a more eye-catching style here or a button to really draw the eye to it.
It's neat that you have a video on the homepage, but I would also encourage you to consider a close up photo of just one or a few of your choir members to allow the audience to connect a little more personally to the people behind your organization. This also would go for your donate page -- the small image of the choir gets lost here and doesn't really make an impact. Try adding in some compelling language on why users should donate as soon as possible and how their donation will help. You might find this article to be helpful when considering what to add to your landing pages (and what to leave off) http://www.thenetworkforgood.org/t5/Nonprofit-Website-Best-Practices/Optimizing-Your-Landing-Pages-I...
I hope that helps! I look forward to hearing others' input. When do you plan to update your site? I hope you'll come back and share how it's going and, of course, the end product!
Caryn D. Stein
Online Community Strategist
Network for Good
08-05-2011 5:18 PM, EDT
Caryn, thank you for the warm welcome and the website redesign advice! Your suggestions and the links are already really helpful and we will use them all- including any other input we get, as we address our website updates.
We are currently making small incremental changes, but plan to do a more substantial redesign in the coming months. I will be sure to invite everyone to visit us when we finish. Thank you again!