Charity how to: Improve your website user experience
In these digital-first days, charities need websites that do it all.
Your website needs to cope with a rise in enquiries, deliver services digitally to vulnerable service users, engage with stakeholders, have a reliable and easy to use donation platform and much more.
Ensuring that each different audience has a smooth website user experience (UX) requires a serious juggling act.
But at Connect Assist, we love a challenge. So, here are our five top tips for a non-profit website design that delivers a UX that pleases everyone – including your budget-conscious trustees.
Tip 1: Nail your design
When it comes to your website, looks count – no matter how great its personality is.
Make sure the design slots right into your charity’s brand. This helps build trust – which is especially important if you’re offering confidential support or taking payment card details.
Choose a few striking images – they really do tell a thousand words. And resist the temptation to squeeze a thousand words onto your front page. Lead with your impact stats – how many people have you supported in the last year etc.
Ease of navigation is important for everyone, but especially users with visual or motor impairments. There are widely accepted guidelines around things like font size, spacing and contrasts – check out w3.org for the latest accessibility standards.
And it goes without saying, your website must look great on a smartphone or other device too.
Tip 2: Be proud of your charity
What drives you? Explain your vision and mission, values, and history to deepen engagement and build trust.
What good are you doing? Case studies – including audio-visual elements – are inspiring to donors, and relatable to service users. These should complement your more factual impact reports and financial accounts.
What’s new? Blogs and news pages keep your supporters up-to-date, as do links to your social media.
UX for non-profits is not just about the formatting of a web page, but also what is says.
Above all, what do you want your visitors to do? Which brings us to tips 3 and 4…
Tip 3: Make donating easy as pie
Your website should not be ashamed about asking for money, but it goes without saying that sensitivities around donating during a cost-of-living crisis should be first and foremost on your mind.
A big ‘Donate now’ button in a striking colour at the top of your homepage is a must for most charities, but perhaps consider slightly subtler messaging to nudge up your funds.
One suggestion is to switch the conversation from ‘Will you donate?’ to ‘How much could you donate?’. Or even suggesting three donation amounts and including a ‘most popular’ sum.
Tip 4: Give value first
If it’s appropriate to request donations, do so after they’ve got what they need. Asking for money straight up can seem cold and inhuman, and even drive them away.
It can be tricky to channel your various audiences down the right routes, which is where tip 5 is invaluable…
Tip 5: Test, improve, test again
Imagine you’re a service user. Can you get support without too many steps? How about on your smartphone? What if English isn’t your first language?
Now imagine you’re a potential donor. Is it easy to donate, and are you confident about security?
Perhaps you have a query. Is it answered on the website, or can you contact the charity easily?
If any customer journey highlights friction points, work on them. You can get further insights from this great blog on usability test scenarios.
Above all, don’t hesitate to ask your website visitors what they think through feedback forms or surveys.
Get support from Connect Assist
At Connect Assist, we’re passionate about how a digital-first approach can transform your charity’s services.
We use Oracle Service Cloud to build customer service portals that perfectly match your website. It enables you to provide an omnichannel service that seamlessly integrates with your website, self-service portal, live and video chat and telephone service, offering your service users the very best UX.
Give us a bell or drop us a line to chat about working together.