In this webinar, Cathy Whitlock, Director Online Communications, National Parkinson Foundation (NPF) and I, a project manager here at Charity Dynamics, shared the tactical strategies and lessons learned from NPF’s national website redesign. NPF needed help designing and developing a new, fully responsive website that would be more accessible and more easily navigated; that’s where we came in.

Here are some key insights from the webinar:

  1. Understanding Your Audience – First things first, you have to know what message your website is sending and who is receiving that message. NPF wanted their website to appeal more to donors and participants while still being a great resource to those affected by Parkinsons Disease. To really find out who their audience is they held focus groups to gather information about the UX of the website. We helped them by using Google Analytics, discovery sessions and success measurements to show what parts of the old website were getting the most traffic and where the new website needed to focus.
  1. Feedback From Multiple Perspectives – Once all of this data is gathered the next step is figuring out who will provide feedback. It is always good to get multiple perspectives so one person isn’t held responsible when determining what the needs are for that project. The different perspectives can be from constituents, the core project team, executive team and vendor.
  1. Defining Critical Goals – Many websites are now looking to be fully accessible and responsive on numerous mediums as the rise of mobile devices increases. NPF wanted a more streamlined donation flow, multiple giving options, along with a fundraising event strategy and optimization.This meant the website could focus more on the UX of donors and participants.
  1. Creating & Managing the Timeline – Like any project, there is always a timeline in order to keep things running smooth. After the goals were determined for NPF’s new website the project plan was approved. Even though a plan was in place, change orders were sometimes necessary but they took more time management. Overall it was important to understand the priorities and revisions of the project so we could stay on track to meet deadlines.
  1. Lessons Learned – It is called “Total Rehaul” for a reason, because typically when a website is being redesigned it involves almost every aspect of the website. For the redesign of NPF’s website they had to rewrite the content as well as change the design in order to make sure the information was accurate and up-to-date. One thing that NPF wasn’t expecting was a drop off in traffic immediately after the launch, but then an increase later on. This happens to most every website redesign and is usually due to legacy links no longer working. Do not let this deter you from a redesign project, because in the long run NPF is seeing more time spent on their site and an increase of online donations by 18%

Overall, the NPF website redesign took about 10-12 months and was a great success (I mean, seriously, look how gorgeous this site is, if I do say so myself). Any website could be redesigned no matter how big the challenge might seem. If you want to learn more about this project click the link below to listen to the recording of the webinar!

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