Make it Easy for Web Visitors

in Marketing for Nonprofits,Website - Nonprofit

If you want visitors to your website to read the content; make a donation; register for the conference; sign-up for your newsletter; or spend more than 5 seconds on your site . . . then you must make it EASY FOR THEM.

Your nonprofit will generate more online revenue, and support your offline fundraising better if you maximize website usability.

Below I share a few nuggets from Jakob Nielsen.  He’s a well-known usability expert with annual conferences and workshops on the subject.  Pay attention to what he’s learned through extensive testing and apply it to your own site design.

  • User viewing time: 80.3% ABOVE the fold and 19.7% BELOW the fold.  
  • Horizontal viewing: 69% of viewing time on LEFT half of screen and 30% of viewing time on RIGHT half of screen.  Recognize that the first 200-pixels in the left side typically have a navigation bar, so the user’s attention actually grows after the 200-pixel mark.  The most attention is spent in the 300-500 pixel area.
  • Clicking hypertext links is the most-used feature.  Clicking buttons on the page is the 2nd most-used feature and the BACK button is the 3rd most-used feature.  
  • If all goes well users will read about 18-20% of the content on a page. 

How can your website benefit from these nuggets?

– Stick to a conventional design.  Place navigation on the left and your most important content above the fold and to the right of the navigation.

– Some people will scroll, and some will even read to the bottom of the page.  So you still need to have a useful item at the bottom.  And have your most important content above the fold.

– Nielsen’s research shows that for every 100 words added, users may spend an additional 4.4 seconds.  Just bear that in mind and realize not too many people to read more that 15 – 20% of the content.

Write your content and design your pages for skimmers

– Each page has ONE primary goal … one action you want users to take that is more important than any other.  The copy, the link, the button, the image, etc. connected to that most desired action must be above the fold.  And it probably ought to be showcased between one-third and halfway across the page (i.e., the 300 – 500 pixel area).

Keep to the basics and your website will help you meet your business goals.  It will help you raise more funds, acquire more donors or members, get more people to sign-up and on it goes.

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March 23, 2011 at 12:15 pm

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