Psst. Hey. Over here. Yes, you – the hard-working, big-hearted nonprofit accidental techie with the weight of your organization’s website on your shoulders. We have a personal question for you. Is your nonprofit website suffering from…. homepage neglect? Take our easy 2 question quiz to find out:
- Has your homepage layout or design changed at all since you launched your “new” website five years ago?
- Have you updated the images in your homepage slideshow in the last 6, 9 (or even 12) months?
If your answers to our little quiz have made you gasp in painful recognition – you need not fear! The remedy is easy and won’t break your entire online budget for the year (we promise!).
RIP, Homepage Slide Show
Most of today’s nonprofit websites (particularly those designed over the last few years) have a slideshow on their homepage. We’re not knocking them—heck, we’ve designed and built many ourselves—but they’ve served their purpose. You’ve got better things to put in that real estate, why not re-purpose with one of these new design trends? Consider adopting one of these fresh web design trends for 2014 in place of your current slideshow to introduce a more modern look to your organization’s homepage!
Break Homepage Tradition with a Hero Area
Hero areas are one of the biggest trends hitting web design this year, so why not be an early adopter (dare we even say, trendsetter)? The term “hero area” is actually taken from print design and refers to a large intro area at the top of a website, usually an image with minimal text. Hero areas are quickly replacing slideshow as the new “must have” on homepages. When done properly these hero areas can make a huge impact on new and returning site visitors.
Real Life Example: Check out Global Oneness Project.
Got Video? Use It!
Got a bored intern with an iPhone? They probably know more about creating short videos with impact than you ever will, so use them. Video is our second top trend for web design this year. As videos become easier and less costly to produce, they are a great way for nonprofits to give a real voice and personality to the work you do and the people you serve. And as an added bonus, most video services (think YouTube or Vimeo) have built in metrics about views and shares, which will make your bosses happy (and you look smart) when they need data for their grant reports. Added bonus points to those overachievers out there who want to utilize video in a hero area!
Real Life Example: Check out Dadaab Stories to see this in action.
Free Your Inner Artist with Manipulated Imagery
Rounding out our top web design trends for 2014 is manipulated imagery. What is it? Think Photoshop meets Instagram. First you need some powerful images—no more stock photos, people (we mean it). Don’t have a robust image library? See bored intern with an iPhone from above paragraph.
After you’ve got some images that capture your organization’s mission, now comes the fun part—manipulating them! Manipulating the image can be as simple as playing with contrast, adding a color overlay, or blurring the background to focus in on a face. It does take some talent and artistic know-how to create something professional, so get some help if you need it.
Real Life Example: Check out Crossroads Alliance for some inspiration.
Have you kicked your homepage slideshow to the curb this year? Used any of these new trends? Tell us about it in the comments section. Do you need a hand with a homepage refresh of your very own? Contact us for a custom quote!