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UX Thinking for Online Advocacy and Fundraising

UX Brainstorming

By Gregory Kolen II.

Online fundraising and advocacy are two important aspects of any nonprofit’s digital strategy. However, without user experience expertise, these can often be ineffective and frustrating for donors and supporters. In this post, we will discuss how to use ux knowledge to improve online fundraising and advocacy efforts. We will also provide tips on how to create a positive user experience for your supporters!

User experience (UX) refers to the way users interact with and perceive a website, application, or product. Creating a positive UX is essential for any organization that wants to be successful online. Why? Because if your users are unhappy with their experience on your site, they are likely to leave and never come back. And we all know that acquiring new customers is much more expensive than retaining existing ones!

You want to make sure the experience is:

  • Usable
  • Equitable
  • Enjoyable
  • Useful

By ensuring the experience is usable, you want to make sure to reduce the cognitive load required to help your audience acheive their goals.

To keep the experience equitable means to take into account audiences of different abilities and backgrounds. Keeping in mind additonal options and accessibility tools to help support diverse needs and those in often disenfranchised groups.

The experience should be enjoyable, does it bring satisfaction to the audience user? Does it feel good or rewarding? Can the user connect with the experience in a way that makes them feel like you understand them. It’s helpful to run through any experience you create, and imagine it from the perspectives of any of the audience personas you plan to serve.

And of course, the experience should be useful, in addition to being usable. Ask yourself if the process and design (of donating, taking action, learning more…etc) is presented in a way that adds value to the experience of the user as they seek to acheive their goals.

So how can you use UX expertise to improve your online advocacy and fundraising efforts? Let’s take a look at some tips:

– Make sure your website is easy to navigate and understand. Users should be able to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. If your website is confusing or difficult to use, potential donors will likely give up and go to another site.

– Use strong calls to action. Your website should have clear and concise calls to action (CTAs) that tell users what you want them to do. For example, if you’re raising money for a new playground, your CTA might be “Donate Now.”

– Create engaging content. In order for users to donate or take action, they need to be engaged with your content. This means creating compelling and interesting blog posts, infographics, videos, etc. that will inspire people to support your cause.

– Make it easy to donate. The donation process should be quick and easy; otherwise, potential donors may get frustrated and abandon their donation altogether. Be sure to include multiple payment options and make sure the donation form is short and simple.

By following these tips, you can create a positive user experience for your supporters and enhance your online advocacy and fundraising efforts. If you’re not sure where to start, consider working with a UX expert who can help you assess your current website and digital strategy, and make recommendations for improvement.

Several of these things may seem like common conventions once you’ve gone through the process and patterns a few times. But challenge yourself to think further and empoly a deep level of empathy as you examine each step of the process. For example think of the classic ketchup bottle, typical glass container that held ketchup and was good enough. But by observing people’s pain points you’ll see; the inability to sqeeze extra ketchup out, or having to leave the container upside down to get the last bit of ketchup to the cap. At the end of the day, the user of the classic ketchup bottle is able get ketchup from the bottle, but the friction of the experience could be reduced. After a few iterations, we’ve arrived at a sqeezable bottle with a large cap at the bottom of the bottle that aims to make the experience of retreiving the last bit of ketchup so much easier.

Don’t forget that ux isn’t only about websites! Creating a great user experience extends to all aspects of your digital strategy, from social media to email marketing. By keeping ux in mind, you can create an overall better experience for your supporters – which will lead to more donations and engagement!