Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Web site layout becoming commonplace

As the whole idea of technology-related nonprofit operation becomes commonplace, more thought is given to making the best use of what is available.

Nonprofit executives attending a recent national nonprofit conference learned that many organizations are finding a degree of success by employing certain strategies for the layout and presentation of their Web sites. They are shared by many of the organizations whose sites were rated in the Top 10 by either Forbes or The NonProfit Times.

Among the common characteristics:

  • Nine out of 10 positioned their logo in the upper left-hand corner. It is the expected location. Further, logo placement should be consistent and link back to the homepage.
  • Seven out of 10 use mastheads at the top of their homepage. This separates the core components to a site (Who, What, Where, Why).
  • 80 percent positioned their search in the upper right-hand corner.
  • 60 percent of the sites used a three-column grid format.
  • 70 percent of the sites used a sidebar for simple navigation.
  • 33 percent of the sites utilized Macromedia Flash.
  • 30 percent of the sites incorporated streaming video.
  • 40 percent of the sites used dropdown menus.
  • 10 percent of the sites used pop-ups.
  • 50 percent of the sites had a graph image that made eye contact with the viewer.
  • Almost all built their text from html rather than a graphic.
  • The best performers used multiple areas on the page for “Donate” or “Sponsor.”

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