From Audit to Redesign: The Complete Nonprofit Website Toolkit, Five-Part Course

Five Thursdays,October 3 to October 31, 1 to 2:30 PM Eastern

Your website is the face of your organization. Like any familiar face, over time, you stop seeing it the way others see it.  Take a fresh look at your site to determine whether your audience and your staff are getting what they need from it.

During this five session series, an Idealware instructor will help you think through how to develop a more useful and engaging website. You will be given a walk-through of website basics, how to lead a redesign project, best practices for accessibility, mobile optimization, content management systems, technical details, and online branding. You will explore how website content works alongside email, direct mail, and social media efforts to create an organization’s communications mix.

You will:

Course Schedule

All sessions take place on Tuesdays at 1 pm Eastern and last for 90 minutes.

Session 1, October 3: Starting the Audit Process

We will kick off the course by helping you define your priorities and set goals. Then we will cover how to lead a hands-on website audit while applying web design best practices. You will review strategies for user interviews and surveys so you can see through other people’s eyes what is working on your website and what needs improvement. We will spend a substantial amount of time discussing how to synthesize your research, ideas, and strategies into a vision that you can share across your organization.

Session 2, October 10: Defining Your Design and Content Strategy

A website needs content before it can be useful to your constituents. In this session, you will learn how to define your content strategy, starting with your homepage. What content should be on it? Who will create it? What content matters most? The design of your site is as important as the content. We will talk about how to assess your graphic design and site navigation and walk you through the steps necessary to look at your own site with a critical eye. We will also introduce wire-framing—a method for visualizing and organizing the structure of your website.

Session 3, October 17: Fleshing Out an Accessible and Usable Website

We will take a look at the goals and best practices behind core web pages. We will cover website analytics to help you identify what’s working and what isn’t, search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure that your site can be found on Google and other sites, and user testing. You’will also receive a checklist for best practices for usability and accessibility.

Session 4, October 24: Let’s Get Technical

With your strategy and goals defined, it’s time to get under the hood. In this session, you will become familiar with the technical side of website design, starting with an overview of content management systems (CMSs), which make it easier for nontechnical staff members to create or update website content themselves. You’ll learn about responsive design and other practices for building mobile-friendly websites. We will end with a discussion on integrating your website with your database, online payment tool, and other systems.

Session 5, October 31: Defining Your Priorities and Moving Forward

Now that your strategy is in place, and you have an understanding of the tools involved, it’s time to put your plan into action. We will start with an overview of the typical website development process, then discuss how to know whether you need a whole new site, or just an update to your existing one. If you only need to make updates, we will define a process to map out what updates should go in a first phase, and then what should come next. We will talk through what you can do yourself and what tasks are best left to a consultant. By the end of this session, you will walk away with an action plan for “quick hits” and an outline for a more substantial project.

Other Info

About our Expert Trainer, Kathleen Pequeño

Since the 1980s, Kathleen has been working with justice movements, often working at the point of intersection between storytelling and technology. She has volunteered, worked and consulted with well over a hundred organizations across the United states on issues including racial and gender justice, family violence, queer liberation, education justice, immigration justice, the overuse of prisons and jails, and economic justice for farmworkers. She has built (and rebuilt) scores of websites, CRMs and email systems as well as supported organizations with media planning and communications strategy. You can read her advice on social justice communications and technology at www.kathleenpequeno.com.

About Idealware

Idealware is a program of the nonprofit Tech Impact. We are the authoritative source for independent, thoroughly researched technology resources for the social sector. Our publications, assessments, and training can save you time and money by providing impartial guidance that gives you the knowledge and confidence you need to decide what’s best for your organization. Browse our archives, sign up for our mailing list, or learn more at www.idealware.org  

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