UX design for Nonprofits

What is UX Design and How Can Understanding it Benefit Your Nonprofit

UX or “User Experience” refers to designing while prioritizing the user and the way in which they interact with your product. For consumer-driven brands and nonprofits alike, understanding what UX design is is crucial for the online experience of your audience.

What you say about your brand is important, but the way in which the information is communicated will determine how and if the message is received. For example:


  • Messaging and design go hand in hand for UX. 
    • A webpage with large blocks of text may overwhelm your audience, causing them to skip over it altogether. Organizing content using design elements to break up large chunks of text and writing in a concise way from the start can make it easier for users to retain important information.
  • Designing for accessibility can make your content easier for all users to engage with.
    • Using color combinations with a contrast ratio of less than 4.5:1 for normal text and 3:1 for large text may deem your content illegible for some of your viewers. 
  • Loading speed and the ability to view a webpage in its entirety significantly impacts user experience.
    • A site that takes too long to load or that is not built responsively may cause users to abandon the experience entirely. 


Design mistakes, like those above, are committed among brands across industries, causing diminished brand engagement, increased development costs over time, and ultimately, loss of audience members and supporters. 


Understanding the user, empathizing with their needs, and considering why they might be engaging with your brand and what they might be looking for are all central to effective UX. Consult the checklist below to determine the current state of your UX and identify areas for improvement. 


✅ UX Must-Have Checklist

1. Digestible Content
Does your website contain large blocks of text that may overwhelm your readers? Instead of a large block of text, are you able to replace some of the content with a list or more digestible bullet points? Is there a way to visually represent the information?

2. Information Hierarchy
Do you have to scroll past unnecessary information to get to key content? Are you using headings, subheads, and visuals to break up copy and create breathing space on your site?

3. Responsiveness
Does your website work equally well on desktop, tablet and mobile devices?

4. Accessibility
Do your color combinations meet accessibility standards? Have you implemented screen reader compatibility and keyboard navigation? Meeting accessibility standards broadens your audience reach and shows your organization’s commitment to inclusivity.

5. Clear Messaging
Is it easy to understand your brand from the homepage—who your organization is, what you do, and why it matters? Is there a clear statement about your mission and goals on your homepage? Does your site include impact stories and testimonials to tell your organization’s story and share your mission impact?

6. Call to Actions
To drive conversions, you need Call to Action (CTA) buttons on your site in order to prompt your audience to take action. These lead your audience along a journey through your site to get to know your mission and how they can engage with your organization. On pages, you should have one main CTA that does not compete with other actions or buttons.

7. Navigation
Does your homepage include clear and easy-to-follow navigation? Is it easy for a user to get around your site, move forward and backtrack without getting lost or confused?

8. Scannability
When you read through or quickly scan pages, can you glean the main points it’s meant to convey?

9. High-Quality Visual Content
Are your videos and images pixelated and blurry or clear and sharp? High-quality photos, illustrations, and video content help tell your story and engage users and will make your brand appear professional.

10. Loading Speed
A site that takes too long to load can deter users from engaging with your brand. Make sure everything you upload is sized appropriately for the web and that nothing is interfering with the rate at which your site is loading its content.

11. Partnerships
Where appropriate, are you giving credit to contributors and partners?

12. Secure Payment Options
Do you utilize secure payment options? Incorporating familiar and reliable payment options like PayPal, Stripe, and Square into your site creates trust, increasing donors’ likelihood of contributing. 

13. Funding Transparency
Is there transparency about your funding on your site? Do you share where and how these funds are spent? Being open about important information like funding can build trust with your audience and give them confidence in how their donations will be a part of your mission impact.


Embrace UX Best Practices to Engage Your Audiences

Your nonprofit can benefit greatly from designing your website with UX in mind, making the user the focal point—their knowledge level, needs, and more. When you center your audience and how they will interact with your site, it will be easier for them to find what they’re looking for and be able to engage with your organization more effectively and often.

Whether you are hoping to revamp your website or start from scratch, our design experts, along with our web development team, are ready to help you achieve your web goals and create a comprehensive user experience. 


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