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. 

Empathy – the capacity to recognize emotions that are being experienced by another person - is arguably one of the most important aspects of UX design. UX (User Experience) design trends can no longer be ignored as organizations are pushed to provide audiences with seamless and convenient interactions. Empathy allows nonprofit organizations to put themselves in a visitor’s shoes and leads them to a genuine understanding of how to solve their problems. By understanding a visitor’s emotions, motivations, goals and problems, organizations have a better ability to shape a visitor’s decisions to better meet their website goals.

Your website is the foundation of your online marketing efforts and often the first impression someone will have about your organization. Once you’ve made the leap and invested in a website redesign, it’s time to begin calculating the return on your investment. When measuring your website’s ROI, organizations must look at costs and the results. Because nonprofit websites typically aren’t focused on sales, there often is no cut and dry method for measuring ROI. However there are many different ways to track your success and determine whether your goals are being met. Here’s a few ways to help you get started:

As discussed in previous posts, UX (User Experience) design trends can no longer be ignored, as organizations are pushed to provide audiences with seamless and convenient interactions. Conducting user research should be at the top of your organization’s list when discussing UX, as user experience cannot exist without users. User research will be the fuel to drive your design decisions and will help your organization learn about its users and their behavior, motivations, goals, and needs.

There are plenty of reasons to display your content visually, as we’ve discussed in previous blog posts. Infographics are one of the best ways to take dense textual information and convert it into an easy-to-read piece of content your audiences are more likely to understand and most importantly, remember. Visual storytelling gives organizations the power to transport audiences and make words come to life.

As discussed in our previous post, UX design trends can no longer be ignored, as organizations are pushed to provide audiences with seamless and convenient interactions. While being challenged with the task of presenting large amounts of information or data on your website, it’s crucial you create a game plan to organize and present it in a way that’s easy to digest, cohesive and memorable. There’s no doubt we will continue to see an emphasis placed on user experience in design - UX best practices will be especially crucial for “information-heavy” websites.