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Designing beautiful & effective sites for non profits


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Published in: Design

Designing beautiful & effective sites for non profits

  1. Eve Simon, Beaconfire Consulting One World Workshop June 24 th , 2009 <ul><li>Designing Beautiful & Effective Web Sites for Non Profits </li></ul>
  2. Who am I & why should you care? <ul><li>Nearly 14 years design experience in both corporate & non profit worlds. </li></ul><ul><li>Creative Director at Beaconfire Consulting, working only w/non profits. </li></ul><ul><li>I think well executed websites will be the future of non profits on the web. </li></ul><ul><li>I love creating visually impactful, mission-focused websites. </li></ul><ul><li>I really believe great design can change the world. </li></ul>
  3. Great design – the holy grail <ul><li>Is it really that hard to achieve? Myths debunked. </li></ul>
  4. Debunked Myth #1: Design is universal <ul><li>The basic tenets of design ARE universal across mediums BUT… </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t forget that here is a significant difference between art and design. </li></ul><ul><li>You can create stunning visuals that reflect your emotions or feelings by themselves </li></ul><ul><li>but to design effectively, project requirements must override personal preference. </li></ul>
  5. Debunked Myth #2: All organizations want the same thing <ul><li>There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to good web design. </li></ul><ul><li>Custom solutions are needed to address unique needs of every organization. </li></ul><ul><li>The catch is how to solve similar engagement design challenges in new ways </li></ul><ul><li>Design best practices can be your friend, but should never be your crutch. </li></ul>
  6. Debunked Myth #3: A site should reflect an organization’s structure <ul><li>While it’s important for a site to take structure into account, it’s the user that matters </li></ul><ul><li>Designing towards who the site is for, not who is footing the bill, is critical to success </li></ul><ul><li>Internal politics are of no consequence to your audience, & should never impact them </li></ul><ul><li>A solid engagement & narrative focused info arch is the backbone to a great design </li></ul>
  7. Ok, then what’s the trick to great design? <ul><li>It’s a process, not a silver bullet </li></ul>
  8. Start a dialogue <ul><li>Avoid design by committee; be strong </li></ul><ul><li>Interview stakeholders so they feel included and listened to, but don’t let them derail your process </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorm with your team about what people want, and don’t be afraid to pose a lot of questions </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t get stuck in org-speak; think like an outsider looking in </li></ul><ul><li>Be honest about likes & dislikes </li></ul><ul><li>Know you cannot please everyone </li></ul><ul><li>Challenge yourself to think unconventionally </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t over complicate </li></ul>
  9. Do Your Homework <ul><li>Gather all design assets including logos, photos, style guide if there is one </li></ul><ul><li>Embrace the brand but identify areas of flexibility </li></ul><ul><li>Clearly define site goals and requirements. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify and prioritize engagement opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Know the audience inside & out; prioritize multiple audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Objectively identify the pain points in the current site </li></ul><ul><li>Size up the competition’s web presence </li></ul>
  10. Don’t reinvent the wheel <ul><li>Follow best practices where appropriate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consistency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Usability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Typography </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Page balance & eyetracking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Color & Contrast </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The simplest solution is often the the best </li></ul><ul><li>Steal if you have to; Don’t hesitate to look where others have gone </li></ul><ul><li>Read “Don’t make me think” by Steve Krug </li></ul>
  11. Beat all expectations <ul><li>Develop several entirely different designs, following same criteria/information </li></ul><ul><li>Never force a concept. If it feels like you have to explain it to your mother, throw it out and try again </li></ul><ul><li>Beware of visual stereotypes: forge new ground </li></ul><ul><li>Be picky – don’t just stop at “ok” or “close enough” </li></ul><ul><li>Offer an “embarrassment of riches” </li></ul><ul><li>Stay engaged and on message throughout the process – a site is more than a homepage, it’s your voice on the web. </li></ul>
  12. Not Just a Pretty Face <ul><li>When mission & message combine </li></ul>
  13. American Lung Association <ul><li>Before </li></ul>
  14. American Lung Association <ul><li>After </li></ul>
  15. Wildlife Conservation Society <ul><li>Before </li></ul>
  16. Wildlife Conservation Society <ul><li>After </li></ul>
  17. INOVA Health System <ul><li>Before </li></ul>
  18. INOVA Health System <ul><li>After </li></ul>
  19. The Sum of the Parts <ul><li>Specific design elements that make a difference for non profits </li></ul>
  20. Focus on action
  21. Tell the story with strong visual impact
  22. Design for the audience (even if its not your aesthetic)
  23. So what’s the secret sauce? <ul><li>Always remember the difference between art and design </li></ul><ul><li>Plot out a process that will work for you and follow it no matter what </li></ul><ul><li>Remember that you can’t please everyone at your organization – aim to meet the needs of your audience </li></ul><ul><li>If you create something that’s beautiful that doesn’t further your organization’s mission or engage the audience, it’s not ultimately going to be effective </li></ul><ul><li>Trust your instincts and be willing to take risks </li></ul><ul><li>Fight for what you think is right </li></ul>
  24. Thank you! <ul><li>(any questions?) </li></ul>