Blog topic: Charity Websites

It's important to approach charity website design from a user perspective, so this week I decided to test out 5 charities by donating £10 to each. Here are the results, with a slideshow of each stage of the process. 
It's easy to get into the habit of running a pitching process. After all, it's great to meet new people and get fresh ideas about your project, and you need to make sure you're giving a wide range of people a fair chance to win the work. However, as more charities are choosing to buck the trend, here's our take on why pitches don't work for either party and how to select an agency using an alternative method.
It's all too easy to build and manage a website that looks beautiful, but is completely ineffective. In this post Andy looks at six key reasons why many charity websites fail along with practical examples and tips for improvement. 
Keeping beneficiaries at the heart of your online brand can be a challenge. Drawing on a recent website we built for Cardboard Citizens, Amy shares 4 key tips on how to ensure your brand speaks of those you work with and the impact your work is having.
Authorship and author rank are two different concepts that are often misunderstood and misused. Here Crispin explains the difference between the two and why they could be important to your charity website, along with some practical tips on how to reap the benefits. As a writer or charity content producer it is very likely that you tweet, post about, follow and interact with other people talking about and linking to similar content. It's time to let Google know that this is the case.
Nonprofits have some of the best stories to tell. At the forefront of social change, the stories they engage with touch on issues that go to the core of what it means to be human. Yet too often these stories don't get heard. In this post we look at three i-docs comissioned by charities, and discuss new avenues for i-doc creation.
If you're investing time into writing a blog, it's imperative that you track the results in order to see how it's impacting your marketing objectives. Google Analytics is the king when it comes to understanding how your website is performing and how users are interacting with your content, and this post looks at what specifically charity digital teams should be tracking and reporting on and how to analyse the the results. Crispin has also produced a free Google Analytics dashboard that you can install and apply to your analytics just by clicking the link. 
Focus groups can be particularly useful when you want to find out not just what typical visitors think of your website, but why. In this post George looks at the value of using focus groups in the website design process, and how to go about designing them. By closely involving a small subset of your user-base in your reviewing process, a greater degree of insight into your users’ objectives can be gained than either through the subjective opinion of the project owner, or a wide canvassing of a large proportion of your audience. In this post we discuss what focus groups consist of, how they should be set up, and what they can do.
In the second of two posts on how to better understand the different design disciplines involved in designing a charity website, our Creative Director Owen looks at responsive design, graphic design, illustration, user experience and user interface design.  Featuring quick tips for working with your website designer, this is a great introduction to the world of charity website design.
If commissioning a website is new territory for you then you are likely to be on a bit of a learning curve. You’re not alone, we’re all learning. Having designed lots of websites for charities, we have learned how important it is to understand each other to make progress. In this post our Creative Director Owen shares a few insights about the web design process that will help you get ahead in your communications and get the very best from your partner agency. Covering mood boards, wireframing, and visual concepts, he gives tips on how to best work with your website design team to make sure you get the best results. Stay tuned for Part Two.

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