Like a traffic light that makes you stop, yield, or go, website design has a similar effect on the momentum of a user when traveling to the site. Some websites bring visitors to a stop with flash plug-ins or large files that won’t load, or sometimes yield to search through overwhelming amounts of information. But other sites act as a green light, with clarity that draws in visitors and encourages them to click form page to page. World Vision has one of these websites with a design that fuels click momentum.
As a non-profit that relies on donations from generous givers, World Vision needs to have an engaging website to fulfill its mission. The organization describes itself on its Twitter page as
“A Christian humanitarian, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice.”
To make a radical change in global poverty and the lives of children and communities around the world, World Vision seeks donations and involvement in child sponsorship to reach their goals. People who chose to sponsor a child with World Vision commit to giving $39 a month. The sponsor also gets to choose a specific child to support by viewing the profiles of hundreds of children in need on the site. Information including each child’s name, home country and areas of interest help the person decide which child he or she feels led to sponsor.
With this purpose in mind, it makes sense why World Vision should have a website as compelling as any big company. Every person with a website has an opinion on how a website should look, but I’ve selected an article called “6 Tips to Simplify Your Website’s Design”, posted through Print Magazine, to understand why World Vision has effective web design. World Vision’s site succeeds in following all of the recommendations in this article, but the two that stand out to me involve purpose guiding site design and a focus on relevant information for viewers.
In the 6 Tips article, tip number two states, “purpose should be a guiding principle of web design”. The writer, Christopher Butler, asks readers to image a book narrative nearly covered up advertisements, then states that no one would finish that book. As a book has the purpose of telling a story, World Vision has a mission of changing global poverty to communicate to visitors. The World Vision site includes no distracting advertisements, a rare treat in the World Wide Web.
This company also makes sponsorship easy by highlighting its page in the web design. The navigation bar shows the “Sponsor a Child” option as one of two options in the company’s signature orange color. When clicked on, the visitor see a “Sponsor Me” link under the photo of each child needing a sponsor, allowing him or her to reach the payment screen in just two clicks. World Visions site keeps its design mission focused by making the pages most important to its mission achievement the most accessible.
The article in Print magazine also recommends that a website “highlight quality and relevant information for viewers.” World Vision has excelled in this area by establishing a hierarchy of information and clean design. Since the site has the priority of gaining child sponsors, a link to that page with a picture of some international children greets the viewer to make them immediately aware of the need. Then, an arrow pointing down prompts the visitor to keep scrolling on the home page and find information about the company’s other donation opportunities and infographics explaining why World Vision is a trustworthy organization. This ordering of information works effectively in persuading visitors to get involved.
The design of World Vision’s site also works to highlight the most relevant information. On the “Our Work” page for example, World Vision includes a collage of five different photos with statistics about the work that the company has done. This collage provides a factual and emotional understanding of World Vision’s work, without becoming overwhelming. The selectiveness of the photos and statistics chosen provides visitors with enough information and prevents the page from becoming overcrowded. Also on this page, a map of the world with the countries that the organization works emphasized allows for an understanding of World Visions reach with only a glance at the page.
A website’s design often has a major influence over a visitor’s interest in the site. Elements like hierarchy and clarity of information greatly influence the number of clicks on a site. World Vision has used design to highlight the company’s mission in a way that appears both informative and uncluttered, encouraging visitors to make the click and make a donation that does more than validate the company but changes the life of a family in poverty.
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