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For 38 minutes on January 13th, people in Hawaii thought that a ballistic missile was incoming. The test operator selected the wrong option in the system and caused statewide panic when the ominous message appeared on everyone's smartphones. The department had no way to automatically issue a correction on the erroneous message, which lead to the time gap between the notice and the correction. The person sending out the alert wasn't the one truly at fault here. Instead, the failure to adhere to user interface design best practices led to this situation.

Today's readers have low attention spans and are highly visual learners. Digital media has made it easy for audiences to scan and absorb lots of information in a short amount of time. This trend has changed the way marketers deliver copy and communications, and should also impact how you communicate about the impact of your nonprofit. Visual storytelling can be a highly effective means of communication.

Did you realize that online donations to nonprofit organizations increase about 13 percent each year? For most organizations, finding a way to attract a large number of donors is one of their main focuses. Having an appealing and easy to navigate nonprofit website is a great way to garner more attention and increase the donations you get. When having the new site designed, be sure to include some of the following elements.

As we’ve discussed in recent posts, choosing an agency for your website redesign and branding efforts can help you save time, money and prove great ROI over time. However, not all nonprofit organizations have the budget to hire a professional. In these cases, many opt to go the DIY route. Here’s a few things tips to help you make the most of your DIY website redesign:  

Most nonprofit organizations rely on annual reports to communicate insights from the previous year and articulate their intentions for the future, combining human-interest stories with important data. In the past, this information has been presented in print, often in a text-heavy, large booklet on thick, glossy stock paper. As technology and design trends continue to advance, many nonprofits are deciding to make the switch from paper to a digital format.

Data design can take on many forms, including diagrams, charts, motion graphics and infographics, just to name a few. They can be static, interactive, stand-alone or integrated into stories. Whatever the method, data design is a tool to help engage, inspire and inform audiences. Data design is a way to present information in a structured way to effectively communicate a message with clarity and efficiency.

The term “brand” is not always completely understood. Branding is not just a logo or a trademark, but many components that work together to influence and shape the way your organization is perceived. Branding expert Marty Neumeier famously defines brand as “Who you are, what you do, and why you matter.” Branding is an important element of success for nonprofit organizations and should be built with careful consideration.

People are wired to seek out visual content. Due to the oversaturation of digital content and the increased adoption of mobile internet ccess, attention spans are shorter than ever, which makes content presented in the form of big blocks of text very off-putting. Audiences are drawn to content that tells a story, especially those about the human experience. Nonprofits can master visual storytelling by pairing data and statistics with the right graphics to tell a simple, but interesting story. These visuals will guide viewers and help them better understand your organization.

Search engine optimization (SEO) can be described as “the practice of improving and promoting a website in order to increase the number of visitors the site receives from search engines.” Organizations are continuously looking for ways to increase their search rankings, and ultimately grow their website’s organic traffic. Images play a big part in SEO strategy, and should be optimized properly in order to work toward your organization’s goals.