5 Website Usability Characteristics Visitors Will Love

Your friends told you about this new product they’re using. “It’s the best thing ever - you’ve got to try it!” Followed by “you can just order on their website.” So, you hop online during your lunch break - you’ve got 45 minutes to research more and possibly even make the purchase if what you read is compelling. Once you get to the website’s homepage, you realize the website usability is greatly lacking. You can’t even find the general information about the company’s mission about why they create the products they do. So, then you look for information about the new product your friends told you about. Just simple information such as – What are the ingredients? What purpose does it serve? What is the cost? How long does it take to get it shipped? You click on the products link which gives you a long dropdown list and you can’t find the name your friend mentioned. So then you look for customer testimonials about the products to see what they have to say. You find case studies hidden under a tab called Resources. They are positive stories, but it took you multiple clicks before you found them. Frustration sets in because you still can find the product information page to find out more details. What do you do? You leave the website feeling irritated that you wasted your lunch break and frustrated that you couldn’t learn more about - or maybe even purchase - this amazing product.

Is that the experience your supporters, volunteers, and potential/current donors have on your site? If you’re like most nonprofits, you depend on your web presence to stay connected with your community, share information about your cause, and collect donations from your supporters. The visitor experience will play a critical role in attracting prospective donors and volunteers, and maintaining that donor/volunteer base you’ve already built. For most potential supporters, you only get one chance to make a positive first impression. Website usability is a major challenge for many nonprofits, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a solution or a way to enhance your usability. So, let’s Identify what that means.

What is Website Usability?

Usability refers to how easy it is for visitors to use your website and quickly find what they’re looking for. Why is that important? How user-friendly your website is will determine how likely your visitors will easily be able to find and learn about your nonprofits’ mission, read your product/service success stories, find out how to volunteer, and easily donate to your cause.

This supports your ability to develop empathy for your website visitors.

This may seem like a pretty common sense idea. But in all reality, what we’ve seen is that nonprofits have a difficult time considering their websites from a visitor’s point of view. Research tells us that most people aren’t as tech-savvy getting around the internet as you think they are, and that usability and user experience are key. Here are some interesting stats from KoMarketing:

Once on a company’s homepage:

  • 86% of visitors want to see information about that company’s products and services
  • 64% want to see the company’s contact information
  • 52% want to see “about us” information

Are you taking this information into consideration as you’re designing and developing your new website? Have you asked people what they want to see on your website? In tech-speak we call that “user requirements”. Typically it includes items like:

  • I want to know what you do, and I want to find it easily on your website
  • I would like you to show me how you help our community 
  • I’m okay with you tugging at my heartstrings with great success stories
  • I don’t want to jump through hoops to volunteer - give me an easy online form and then a schedule with directions on when/where to show up
  • If I decide to give my hard-earned money to support you, I want it to be easy to donate - don’t make me fill out a form that asks for my name, card, address, email, phone number, the deed to my home, and to hand over my firstborn child

Is Your Website Sending User-Friendly Vibes?

One of the most critical components of your nonprofit’s brand is your online presence. But it’s not enough to just have a website. You must consider layout, design, navigation, and visitor experience - those items have a lot of influence on how potential and current donors perceive your organization. What message is your website giving to your visitors if they can’t find what they need? Are there other characteristics that would help your website provide a great experience?

Five Usability Characteristics We Recommend

  1. Your Mission. The community you serve, your volunteers, and your donors want to know why you do what you do. When they feel a connection to your organization’s story, mission, and purpose, they are likely to support you.
  2. Responsive Design. Always assume that you will have a variety of devices accessing your website, from desktops, to tablets, to mobile phones. When you have a responsive website, it provides visitors a great experience by resizing the content to fit their devices. In turn, this will improve your site rankings, decrease bounce rates, and encourage visitors to stay on your webpages longer to consume the content.
  3. Share Buttons. When your team has developed great content - blog posts, photos of your events, press releases, success stories - you want to ensure your web visitors can share with their connections. We call them brand ambassadors, and you want them on your side. Make sure you have links to social channels, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn so your visitors can easily share the content they love.
  4. Social Media Icons. Speaking of social channels, your social media icons should be on every webpage. You want your website visitors to connect and engage with you. Those are opportunities to share great stories, point to new content, invite people to your events, and even participate in discussions around topics where you can show your expertise.
  5. Press/Media Section. Make sure your website has a special section on your website that provides regular information to reporters, such as news releases, articles about the work your nonprofit does, bios about your leadership, etc. When the media can access your information quickly, they can provide timely coverage on the things that matter to you.

Our Expertise In Website Usability

As website designers and developers, we’ve been dealing with the topic of usability for 20+ years here at OneEach Technologies. And we’ve learned that user-friendly characteristics might seem easy to implement on your website. But we’ve also learned that it requires testing, analysis, and optimization, which takes time and experience. And here’s the great thing…

At OneEach Technologies, we serve over 750 customers worldwide who have shared their web visitors’ needs and wants with us. We’ve been able to take that feedback and focus on building websites that are engaging, intuitive, and modern. Our team is available 24/7 to guide you through the website build, provide 24/7/365 support, and offer hands-on training and resources for your team. We’d love to help you with any questions you may have about your organization’s website. Contact us today!