With technology changing and evolving every day, it’s necessary to keep a lasered focus on the pulse of the website design industry. Every time you blink, a new trend occurs, and that’s certainly the case for the remainder of 2018.
But non-profits and microbusinesses must sometimes take a different approach, and the trends vary from mainstream business Web design.
Blackbaud’s Charitable Giving Report saw online donations grow by almost 10% year-over-year and calls out that younger generations are making their significant gifts online. Today we’re partnering with Yarra Web, a company that has experience in both.
Read on for some of our favorite web design trends for 2018 with some tips on how you can stay up to speed:
Reorganize your site for the consumer journey
You’ve heard of UX and UI, but let’s take a step back and look at the journey for anyone that explores your site.
Non-profits and microbusinesses have different audiences and different needs than other businesses. You want specific information for your supporters and partners to be readily available and accessible, or they may leave your site.
Trillion Creative confirmed that “an organized website helps all of their users find the information they need. It speaks to different people in the right places.” And this is true. The best way to start is by ensuring the most important information about your organization and your call-to-actions are on the top third of your site’s design, so they aren’t missed.
Add dimension to your site
It’s still the norm for web designers to want to leverage flat, 2D icons. Yes, they take less time to design and provide a clean look. But your end consumer doesn’t appreciate them as much anymore.
Research by the Nielsen Norman Group suggested that users will take 22% longer to navigate a website when an ultra-flat design is used as it’s difficult to determine what’s clickable.
Ask your designer to add variety and shadows to your site’s icons. You’ll guide your visitors and prompt them to take actions more effectively.
Did you know that when people make subconscious judgments, up to 90% is based on color? We also make our assumptions within the first 90 milliseconds of seeing a product or a person.
Typically, non-profits tend to use a couple of key colors in their branding. But looking at the research, it’s wise to rethink this.
Consider whether you could use one of your key colors an accent in your branding, to give certain assets a pop. Outline your call-to-actions with a key color that draws the eyes of your visitor. After all, bold accents and hues that are anything but neutral are the norms for today’s website designs.
Activate a mobile strategy
A solid mobile strategy should come as no surprise. Mobile has been the way of the ecommerce world for more than a decade, and that won’t change anytime soon.
Google rolled out its Mobile First Index earlier this year, which gives your brand even more incentive to go mobile, optimizing you for search results. This pertains specifically to non-profits when your call-to-action is for donations or volunteers. You want that to be top of mind when visitors are searching on Google or other search engines.
Speed is another major factor here. Accelerated Mobile Pages is an open-source initiative which is changing the game for mobile speed and an important project. It hosts media files, consolidates all of your code and then runs scripts in parallel. While your mobile site doesn’t need to be a mirror image of your desktop version, invest in a web designer who is familiar with mobile best practices.
Up your security
Secure and encrypted websites are paramount to keep your information and your brand safe. Not sure if your site is encrypted? If the link begins with https versus http, you’re safe.
Google’s blog had an important call-out regarding encryption: “Intruders exploit unprotected communications to trick your users into giving up sensitive information or installing malware, or to insert their own advertisements into your resources. For example, some third parties inject advertisements into websites that potentially break user experiences and create security vulnerabilities.”
Therefore, it doesn’t matter what kind of information lives on your site, if you have a site that is not encrypted, it’s primed for hackers.
Implementing an SSL certificate and redirecting the http to secure https version of your website will prevent these eavesdroppers and hackers exploiting your visitors’ browser connections. Simply what this means is, connections to your site cannot be hijacked to display adverts or even insert malware on unsuspecting users browsers and PCs. It’s very simple and straightforward to implement https and it instills trust from your users that you take security seriously.
It’s important to note that there are some trends that are universal (like activating a mobile strategy and optimizing your security), but there are other trends that may be more or less applicable to your brand.
Stay true to that, but make sure that you’re remaining focused on trends as they change and evolve.
Patrick O’Doherty is founder and Managing Director at Yarra Web, a digital agency who has proudly been supporting digital and bricks and mortar businesses since 2008. Find out more at Yarra Web.