5 Predictions for nonprofit web work in 2014

1. More repository based websites and partnership to make data more open and available

Nonprofits have a lot of information and few do a good job sharing that information with other nonprofits, constituents and other people outside of the nonprofit circle. Weve seen a trend lately building more repository-style websites, with searchable collections of reports, tools and programs that puts the user in control of the information.

Examples:
Center for Tax and Budget Accountability
R&D STEM Learning Exchange

2. More on-location uses for responsive websites

If 2013 was the big year of responsive development (and it was at LimeRed), well see more practical uses of what a responsive site can do in the field. That could mean building webpages or utilities for staff to use on their phones or tablets to use to help people in person to sign a petition, sign up to volunteer, donate, or just walk someone through some information. Apple has been doing this for a few years now in context, using their iPads in store to manage Genius Bar appointments or to complete transactions. Nonprofits will no longer need to depend solely on special apps to complete context-based tasks at events or out on the street but well see them rely more on their own websites with connected tablets.

Examples:
Apple!

3. More interactive web-based reports and microsites

Building more on point #2, I think well see more online companion pieces to print pieces, where the two work together and help give the other context. As sites are thought about more in the long term, we could see more seasonal and campaign-driven microsites that help to meet a goal and are a more experimental brand extension. Well also see more data-driven reports become useful online tools for other nonprofits, funders and media.

Example:
Vilcek Award Brochure site

4. Modernized, clean design

Were seeing a major shift in design. Logos are becoming cleaner and simpler, or going away completely. Instead of major rebrands, were seeing a push to streamline and modernize existing brands. This means taking current design assets and simplifying as much a possible while still retaining the essence of an organization. This will make creating images and design collateral like social media images, newsletter graphics and postcards faster and with more consistency.

Examples:
Heartland Housing
UIC Learning Sciences Research Institute??

5. Focus on user experience

Instead of being all things to all people at the same time, we see a change happening in web planning. We see organizations taking a more research and listening-driven approach to content and design, where user needs take precedence. Thanks to insight from measurement tools like web analytics, were seeing organizations understand more and more that a firm grasp on user needs and their social context is the key to a successful web presence.

Example:
Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly
UIC College of Education

What are your predictions for the year? We’d love to know!

PS: The color in the image is Pantone??’s 2014 Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid.

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