The site is fully mobile responsive.
Conservation Colorado, one of the oldest and most influential environmental non-profits in Colorado, has been experiencing a growth-spurt in the past couple of years, and their web site has not been able to grow with them. They needed an upgrade to a site that could work on mobile devices, feature staff and their work, and reflect the priorities of a dynamic and quickly-growing non-profit, while also showcasing issues and events that are important to their mission and an archive of important legislative data.
After working with their communications team over several iterations, OnSight was able to help them launch a new web site that captured all the organization’s existing blog posts, press release and related documents archives, and other key components, while allowing the site to grow creatively and remain fresh for years to come.
Issue pages aggregate general information, individual campaigns, recent successes, related blog posts, and relevant staff.
The new site includes:
- A new homepage featuring priority items in the slider, and highlights key program areas above the fold;
- Below the fold the homepage is updated dynamically with blog posts and event listings;
- Email signs up, social media, and contact options are highlighted on every page;
- Individual campaigns are modular, so they can be managed by individual staff, and can be sorted by issue. Recently successful campaigns highlight the organizations rich history and active work;
- Issue pages aggregate general information, individual campaigns, recent successes, related blog posts, and relevant staff;
- Bill tracker allows for at-a-glance updates at bills the organization is working on at the state legislature;
- Legislative Directory tracks pro conservation legislators, and allows citizens to easily contact legislators on issues of concern;
- Blog posts feature staff, images, and important news;
- Staff directory brings the faces and contact information to the forefront;
- Action forms and integrated with the site;
- Pages with a lot of information have been consolidated using tabs and icons for ease of use and to reduce scrolling on mobile devices;
- Donate forms are one a single page, and options have been simplified;
- Events listing makes it easy to get involved with the organization;
- Tabs are utilized to provide important information for digging deeper or taking action on an issues;
- The site is fully mobile and tablet responsive.
Whether you’re launching a new project or just making sure your organization is keeping up with the changing times, you need to have a web site — you might as well make sure it’s doing its job well. As the internet and mobile systems evolve, it can be challenging to stay on top of best practices. Below are the seven most important features of a good web site — some are small tweaks that can likely be done within your existing web management tool; others may require a more intense overhaul.
1. Mobile compatibility
Almost one-third of all web content is now viewed on mobile devices like cell phones and tablets, and over half of the time spent online is via mobile devices…and those numbers are only expected to rise. If you haven’t already, it’s a crucial time to ask the basic question: Does your web site work on mobile? Can visitors access the menus, read the type, and see the content clearly? Are pages lightweight enough that images load quickly and web elements resize dynamically? On a more foundational level, make sure to go through and streamline content with an eye towards small screens — web visitors don’t have the patience or screen capacity for long, dense blocks of text, so avoid those wherever possible.
2. Social sharing
With tools like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and other social networks (including email!) claiming more and more of our daily screen time, it’s vital that your fans can share your content easily and that your content is designed to post cleanly to social media sites. Social networking sites are a large and growing percentage of traffic to web sites — make it easy for fans of your work to tell their friends about you!
3. Good content
As with anything else, the key to a good outcome is having a good product. If the content on your web site is boring, wonky and overly technical, confusing, or outdated, visitors will simply look elsewhere. To make sure users stay on your site when they find it, and keep coming back for more in the future, the content itself must be current, interesting, well-written, and compelling. There is simply no substitute for good content.
This is a bad web site.
4. Good design
First impressions matter. Putting your carefully crafted content into a format that reflects the professionalism, playful spirit, inspiring vision, or dependability of your organization is a key component of how you will be perceived. Visitors will quickly discount information in a format that makes it look dated or untrustworthy — even if the information itself is current and relevant to their interests — and they won’t waste their time on a site that makes it difficult to read or access the information they’re looking for.
5. Clean structure
So you’ve punched up your copy to make it compelling and easy to understand and invested in clean, contemporary design…but can site visitors find what they’re looking for? All web design should be founded upon a simple and inviting user experience, enabling visitors to easily locate information and engage with your organization. Consistency and usability are the guiding principles for any design process. Overly-complicated menus, conflicting or absent hierarchies, and lack of underlying structure will show through when visitors actually engage with your site. Frustrating someone who wants to join your cause or contribute to your campaign is bad business.
Search Engine Optimization — don’t let the acronym scare you away from what is a critically important feature of any successful web site. Google (and other search engines) account for anywhere from a 1/4 to 2/3 of traffic to most web sites, and over 90% of clicks are on the first page of Google search results. So how to make sure your web site is showing up on that first page of links? You web site might host exactly the product, service, or opportunity someone is looking for…but if you aren’t using SEO best practices, how will anyone be able to find you?
How are people finding out about your site? Which pages are they spending the most time on? What is the most frequently visited page? Understanding what your site’s visitors actually do — which is definitely not always what you’d expect them to do — is an important part of the web development process. A good web site is one that is constantly being refined to take advantage of insights gleaned from web analytics and testing. Everything from making sure you’re using the most effective color for a donate button to optimizing the amount of text on an informational page can be tweaked, tested, analyzed, and tweaked again to make your web presence more effective for your organization and more helpful to your fans.
If we’ve learned anything this spring, it’s that the Colorado Rockies are on their usual downhill slide and, more importantly, that if you don’t have a mobile strategy, you don’t have a strategy at all.
On that latter point, consider the recent evidence:
In April, Pew Research Center reported that “64% of American adults now own a smartphone of some kind, up from 35% in the spring of 2011.” That’s a remarkable increase in just four years. More remarkable is that nearly 9 in 10 18- to 29-year-olds owns a smartphone.
That same month, Google announced that it was changing its search algorithm for mobile browsers to favor websites deemed “mobile friendly.” While some bemoaned the change as “mobilegeddon,” the reality is that people are increasingly accessing the internet from their smartphones, and they are quick to hit the “back” button when they encounter sites that are geared toward desktops.
And in June, the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford released its “Digital News Report 2015,” which found that “people in most countries say they are likely to access news via a mobile browser. This suggests that news may not always be a primary destination but will often be found through links from social media or email.”
All of that’s not to say that mobile should be your only target. The Reuters Institute report also noted that, “‘older’ delivery technologies such as podcasting and email newsletters have returned in force; and U.S. nightly news broadcasts have actually gained audience over the past few years.”
Seem like a lot to keep up with?
Not to worry. While there may be no hope for the cellar-dwelling Rockies, at OnSight we are constantly monitoring the latest technologies and trends in order to help deliver wins for our clients’ messages.
You know the old sayings…
The web site is mightier than the sword.
When the going gets tough, the tough build a new web site.
There’s no place like your home page.
Those might be a little different than you remember, and that’s because we want you to look at OnSight’s work in a new way: digitally.
While OnSight has offered creative services for years, our creative team has recently kicked it into high-gear, designing and building new and innovative online homes for a number of our clients. Below, we’ve highlighted a few to show you how we’re helping our clients tackle issues with new solutions, fresh design, and innovative web sites.
Since “fortune favors the bold web designer,” we aim to evolve as quickly as the new technologies and trends in our industry. Let us know if you have a bold new idea for your website, and we’ll help you make that happen.
Keep Colorado Local
Visit KeepCoLocal.com to learn more.
Out-of-state corporations want to change the way we do business in Colorado by allowing chain stores to sell alcohol. Their goal is to boost profits, and what they won’t tell you, is that the effort will send money out of our communities, force hundreds of small businesses to close, curtail Colorado’s thriving craft industries, undermine safety, and give underage kids more access to alcohol.
As you can imagine, Coloradans won’t take that kind of thing laying down, and so a group of locally owned and independent businesses formed a coalition called Keep Colorado Local. In order to help this coalition share their message and gain new members, we knew we had to build a unique and dynamic system. The Keep Colorado Local web site not only informs supporters, allowing them get active and share our message, but also gives coalition members access to resources and communications tools.
As this coalition continues to grow and create new innovative ways to preserve Colorado’s unique business climate, our web site will be the dynamic online home for these efforts.
The Outdoors Summit
Learn more at TheOutdoorsSummit.com
Kids today spend half as much time outdoors as their parents did. Colorado may boast the nation’s healthiest adult population, but its youth obesity rate is rising rapidly. Barriers like time, transportation, money, access, and lack of interest keep kids from getting outside and developing the lifelong passion for the great outdoors that is vital for the well being of Colorado citizens, our wildlife, and our way of life.
Changing this trend is no small undertaking, and that’s why Governor Hickenlooper, the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, and Great Outdoors Colorado teamed up to tackle this head on. OnSight worked with these entities to develop the strategy, messaging, and of course, the online hub for the announcement of these new initiatives, which synthesized into the Outdoors Summit. In June, OnSight helped organize the Outdoors Summit, an unprecedented gathering of national and state leaders, advocates and visionaries focused on connecting Coloradans, especially our kids, with the outdoors.
Our creative team developed the logo, web site, and conference materials to promote and brand this unprecedented day-long summit.
Perlmutter for Colorado
Learn more at PerlmutterForColorado.com
OnSight is proud to work with the hardest working man in Congress, and this spring, we took on the overhaul of Ed Perlmutter’s campaign web site. The new Perlmutter for Colorado site is now mobile and social-friendly — critical components for any modern campaign — and features new interactive tools that allow supporters to learn more about Ed and get engaged in his campaign by volunteering, sharing testimonials, and donating.
What do farmers markets, pumpkin carving, fog machines and smokestacks have in common? All were utilized by the OnSight team in the name of bringing climate change to the forefront for Colorado voters. This past fall, OnSight teamed up with NextGen Climate Colorado with the goal of making the issue of climate one of the top issues voters consider at the polls. How? By attracting earned media, organizing a stunt or two, and packaging creative content.
Over the course of nearly four months, the communications team was able to introduce and establish NextGen Climate with Colorado’s press corps, create an online presence and produce a steady stream of social media, blog content and videos, and develop and deliver localized messaging in regards to the 2014 senate race. During this time, the NextGen Climate Colorado team was able to establish itself as a serious player in Colorado politics and regularly influenced questions asked of candidates during debates and in coverage altogether. On multiple occasions outlined below, the team rose above the campaign season noise to receive earned-media attention amid stiff competition for coverage — notably during the Denver EPA hearings, the Club 20 Debates, with Cory Gardner’s House of Deception which coincided with Michelle Obama’s visit in Fort Collins, and the placement of the state director’s op-ed in the Denver Post.
Here’s a look at some of our favorite for NextGen Climate Colorado:
9News: EPA hearings turn Denver into political stage
Denver Post: Demand candidates take action on climate issues
Search for drop box locations near you.
You can vote today or up until 7 pm tomorrow at a Voter Service Center near you!
- Vote your ballot and drop it off, it’s too late to mail
- Drop off your ballot before 7 p.m. Tuesday; late ballots will not be counted
- Find all drop off locations for your county at www.MyColoradoVote.com
- Check out convenient new 24/hour ballot drop boxers and drive-up drop boxes in some counties
If you don’t have a ballot or made a mistake and need to fill out a new one — even if you’re worried you’re not even registered! — you can visit a Voter Service Center all the way through 7 pm on Election Day to register and fill out a ballot. Find the closest Vote Center to you at www.MyColoradoVote.com.