[Tech4Good Denver] Nonprofit Website Usability Tips

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Originally posted on the VisionLink Blog by Georgina Douglas.

This week, I attended a wonderful Denver Tech4Good session on how nonprofits can make their websites more usable and easier to navigate. This is important because the more people are able to use your site, the more they will learn about your cause, donate, and give support.

Below are a few tips and tricks I picked up that may come in handy!


Consider the 5 key factors in "user-ability"

    • Learnability - your website's functioning needs to be predictable and similar to other sites
    • Efficiency - users must be able to navigate easily, without constant changes
    • Memorability - it must be easy to come back months later and still know where information is located on your website
    • Errors - users shouldn't be making many mistakes in finding what they need
    • Satisfaction - your site should have a look and feel that makes it pleasurable to not only visit, but return as well!

User Personas can help you create a User-Centric site

    •  A User Persona is a fictional character with real-world attributes that represent your target audience
    • Create 3-5 user personas, think about their goals, motivations, needs and internet experience
    • Design scenarios in which they would interact with your website (ex: what is their reason for visiting and where would they click?)
    • Considering this information can help you better make decisions to suit visitor needs

Conduct user tests at a public place

    • Go to a local coffee shop and ask to buy someone's coffee in exchange for a user test of your site
    • Ask open ended questions, ones that relate to your organization's website goals (ex: can you tell me what this organization does? Can you find the donate button?)
    • Take notes to remember feedback and make the user feel as though their opinion matters
    • Encourage without agreeing when responding to feedback. Do not say, "Yes!" Instead say, "I see" or "got it."
    • Make it a conversation. Ask why they click, move, or view certain sections
    • Present tasks for them to preform (ex: how might you find our contact information?)

Analyze and FIX what you learn

    • Google Analytics can be used (for FREE) to see how long people stay on your site, what pages they click on, the flow of pages they visit, and where they may be leaving
    • Deeply think about what the user needs to accomplish your website goals and make necessary changes
    • Ask yourself, "are you giving users what they are looking for?" If the answer is no, make changes until you can say, "yes!"

Want to get some ideas for testing your organization's site? Do a user test of the VisionLink website and see how we are utilizing tips from this post to improve our organization's site!

Georgina Douglas
Marketing Operations Manager