Good Non Profit Website Design Principle #3 of 5 (Part 1)

If you’ve ever gone on a blind date, this worry might be familiar: “What’s this person going to look like?” Someone might sound good on the phone, but it’s a different story if the person shows up looking like he or she just crawled out of a vacuum cleaner! Whether it’s fair or not, first impressions count for a lot—and a non profit website design that looks unprofessional, cluttered, or boring is a tough headache to overcome. It reflects poorly on your entire organization. Hence, our next good website design principle:

Principle #3: Develop an attractive appearance so you overcome the “not much to look at” criticism.

By coordinating the important non profit website design puzzle pieces like copy, graphics, navigation, and organization, you can create a site that is both attractive and memorable.

Example of good first impressions:

Here are some practical non profit website design tips to follow:

Practical Tip #1: Be careful to balance your site ingredients. Too much of any one thing can be bad. Plus, overuse of graphic bells and whistles can cause your site to load slowly if they aren’t optimized and coded appropriately. Speaking of which …

Practical Tip #2: A good rule of thumb to follow is that you have 3 seconds or less to get a visitor’s attention. If your website takes too long to load, people will move on and miss your ministry message.

Practical Tip #3: Stick with what works rather than reinventing the wheel.

Major companies are constantly monitoring the ways people read web pages, go through the checkout process, use site navigation, and so on. You can benefit from this research without having to repeat it yourself. Preview what works for major players like, Google, Yahoo, and others.

One example of this simple principle is that people expect the main site navigation – the area with links to the site’s other major sections – to be located either vertically on the left side or across the top horizontally. Stick with one of these two approaches to site navigation, and visitors will find it easier to interact with your site.

Practical Tip #4: Keep colors to two or three complementary choices.

Too many colors look tacky, and too few look unprofessional. Using varied shades of a limited but appealing color palette will create the appearance of more colors while keeping them from clashing.

Practical Tip #5: Choose fonts carefully.

The range of fonts that will display properly online in text is limited, so stick with the tried-and-true ones like Arial, Times New Roman, Verdana, Courier, Geneva and Georgia.

Implement these  practical tips to improve your non profit website design exponentially.

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