The mobile sector of the digital commerce landscape continues to grow rapidly, as more and more users, consumers and supporters opt to use their smartphones over their desktop for an increasing number of tasks and activities. Earlier this year, Google partnered with AnswerLab to produce a report detailing 25 principles of mobile site design to help companies build mobile sites that are easy to use and encourage user conversion. Many of these tips are highly useful for any nonprofit organization considering or currently using a mobile platform to reach constituents. We’ve reviewed the report to bring you the most relevant details.

Form entry was a major focus in the report, with an emphasis on making the process as simple and as smooth as possible for users. This is highly relevant to nonprofits, many of whom use mobile websites or applications to encourage donations and  engagement . Some tips for designing a seamless form entry on a mobile website are listed here.

  • Clearly label all forms, don’t leave users guessing what to put where.
  • Break large entry forms into multiple smaller, more manageable pages, with a clearly labeled progress bar.
  • Include real time error validation, so that if a user enters information incorrectly, they can view and correct the error immediately.
  • Autofill, autofill, autofill! All forms with previously entered or stored data.
  • Allow users to enter as a guest, but encourage benefits of becoming a member. Never force users to log in before accessing your site’s content.

In addition, organizations can benefit from Google’s primary principle, keeping calls to action prominent and at the front-and-center of a mobile landing page (but really we suggest that you do this everywhere possible). Use these mobile sites to stimulate donations, and have an easily visible call to action on the first page of your site! This will prevent visitors from missing out on that chance to take action, which you really want, right?! Other tips offered in the report include keeping menus short and sweet, including a well-designed and visible search bar and making sure all pages of your site are optimized for mobile.


Google’s report can offer nonprofits a number of great insights as to how users interact with mobile websites. Optimizing your organization’s mobile page can create a more enjoyable experience for the visitor. A better mobile experience leads to better response during mobile campaigns and all nonprofit organizations should be aware of how to better engage with a growing mobile audience.

Researchers from Google and AnswerLab observed everyday people using 100 different popular mobile websites during almost 120 hours of user testing sessions. They encouraged the participants to discuss their frustrations as they accessed the various sites. The full report can be found here, and more tips on digital marketing optimization from Charity Dynamics can be found on our website.