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Website Best Practices

Website Best Practices

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Published by Jillian Toda
Best practices consultation for website communications. Prepared for a non-profit organization.
Best practices consultation for website communications. Prepared for a non-profit organization.

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Jillian Toda on Mar 27, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Best Practices
February 1
Tips for designing a layout for the new MVWCS website in 2013.
Following the release of the “4 years of service”/MVWCS for….
campaign, this brief document will outline how the agency can best useits online space to increase readability and convenience for its audiences.The document will be separated into three (3) sections that addressContent, Communications, and Engagement through the website.
Websitelayout, designconsiderations
The overall goal of the website is to convey information and serve as a resource for visitors.Fulfilling this objective will look different for different audiences, so this content must cater tothe main segments MVWCS is trying to reach. The main audiences that will be addressed by thewebsite will be:1.
Those looking for resources on domestic/sexual violence, stalking, human trafficking2.
Those looking to support MVWCS, either through funding or volunteerism
Info Components Location Suggestions
Organization mission and vision statement Vision on home page; in separate tabInformation about MVWCS (history, services) Tabs within the mission/vision webpageResources for survivors Separate sectionContact information (including social media) Separate section/webpageSocial media accounts Home page links, contact sectionCurrent events/updates Home page (rolling image), separate sectionDonation/volunteer information Separate section/webpage
Main categories & topics for highlighted items on website
Special Events
Fundraiser announcement
Campaign activities
Large volunteer request
Interesting facts about services (stats, etc.)
"Fun facts" about agency history
Spotlight staff, volunteers, Board of Directors, partners
Advocate Work
Facts/announcements about domestic violence news, etc.
National/global studies data findings
Movements that MVWCS supports/intersectionality considerations
There are several aspects to think about when crafting how to communicate your content througha website. All of these elements will ultimately help the end-user of the website.Here are some general tips for presenting your content on the website:
Use simple, easy-to-read fonts.
Leave whitespace so it’s easy for 
visitors to skim (lists, etc.)
If possible, put special graphics, such as logos, in the upper-left corner of the webpage
Upper corners follow the typical gaze path
Use language that is easily understandable
Use the same color scheme throughout materials for consistency
Use keywords that are specific to the work and mission of MVWCS (“Advocacy,“shelter program” rather than just “
Limit the number of menu items to six and avoid too many drop-down menus (so content
doesn’t get cluttered)
Messaging for Website Layout 
Following are suggestions for potential messaging on the website (see p. 5-6 for positioning):
 Home page, top panel, button on left (currently has “Get Help” on it)
Change to something like
“Find Support” and link to resources
 Home page, bottom panel, main section
Use as the rotating, updated section for news about MVWCS
Include special events, organizational, and advocate information on a rotating schedule(see above chart)
Spotlight upcoming events, volunteers/staff, important news and include links inthese mini stories to other areas of the website (resources, history, etc.)
“40 facts about our 40 years” (information about MVWCS), “The great MVWCSstaff” (highlight informatio
n about staff members), etc.
Could announce contests and results (any interactive, small photo contests, ideacontests, etc.)
Could announce questions and results to polls
Include photos, links to any relevant information (RSVP webpage if the spotlightis highlighting an event)
 Home page, bottom panel, left side bar 
Change buttons to different titles and have them linked to the corresponding pages
“Donate funding” / “Donate goods” / “Donate time”
Link to pages with PayPal, wish list/requirements, and volunteer information
Below the buttons, include all of the social media links (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest)
“Stay connected with us for even more updates”

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