Are you committed to human rights and social justice? You may be part of a human rights commission and want to give your organization the best website possible.
Your organization’s website is often the first point of contact for stakeholders, whether they’re donors, press, community leaders, or those who need help.
Studies show that people can form a first impression of your organization in as little as three seconds by looking at its website.
Those three seconds can make a massive difference, and you want to make them count.
Keep reading to learn how you can design your website to make a difference.
The Purpose of Your Human Rights Commission Website
Before you invest time, money, and resources in building a website, you’ll need to figure out what the purpose of the site and how your organization plans to leverage it.
The purpose of the website may be to raise money or to raise awareness. When you decide what the purpose is, the design and the copy of the website become easier. The design and copy will be aligned with the purpose of the website.
That’s important because your website’s presence won’t be disjointed. Not only that, you’re clear on what the website should do and how it should function from the very beginning.
There are a few potential purposes of a website:
Educate people about your organization and why the human rights commission exists.
Inform people of ongoing human rights issues.
Inspire action, which could be encouraging signing up to volunteer, donating funds, or signing up for a newsletter.
You might want your website to accomplish all three. That’s okay to do, but you will need to pick a primary focus for your website and digital marketing strategy.
Planning Your Website
Once you know the purpose of the organization’s website, it’s time to plan around it. This will ensure that you’re creating an experience geared towards your key stakeholders.
You’ll also have to decide what features you must have on your site. Common features for human rights commission websites are “Donate” buttons, social media integrations, and photo and video galleries.
At this stage of the planning process, you can create a sitemap or wireframe of your site. List out the pages you want to have and how the site should be navigated.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to have every bit of information about your commission on the site. Instead, keep it simple and have the most important information about your organization there. This will also keep the site smaller and easier to navigate.
Get it Right the First Time
Getting your website right the first time can impact your commission. A poorly designed site can impact how people perceive your organization, which can have a negative impact on donations, volunteers, and your brand.
You also won’t have to invest more funds to redesign the site.
Elements of Website Design
The key factor when designing a website is to take yourself out of the equation. In other words, the website needs to focus on the people who will use it.
Keep Your Design Simple
Just as there’s an overall purpose to your website, each page should have a purpose, too. If you don’t know why a page exists, it should be discarded.
When you’re designing your site, keep the number of images limited to two-three per page. You’ll also want to make sure they’re compressed images for easy loading.
This website on police brutality is simple and to the point. The visual at the top of the page immediately tells you what the site is about.
Check it out for more info.
How is the Readability?
In an attempt to educate and inform readers, you might be tempted to give every single detail about an issue.
The problem with that is that people aren’t going to read a lot on your website. They’ll glance at the information, scan the headlines, and move on.
You’ll also want to be sure that you use fonts that are easy to read as well. Stick to serif or sans serif scripts. Anything else can be a distraction.
Make the Site Mobile Friendly
Did you know that 80% of internet users have a smartphone? Most of those users also access the internet on those devices.
Having a website that is responsive isn’t just good for your users, it’s good for search engine optimization, too.
Focus on Speed
A big part of the user experience is speed. As more people access websites on mobile devices, the less patient they’ve become. If your website is slow, people will not stick around to wait for it to load.
Even a one-second wait could cause you to lose 7% of your audience.
What’s the lesson? A simple, clean website that’s not cluttered with information and pictures will lead to a better user experience.
Getting Your Human Rights Commission Site Seen
You can’t afford to assume that just because your organization has a website, the public will flock to it.
It will take additional work to get your website out there.
The most common digital marketing strategies are search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click ads and social media.
Each strategy has their own advantages and disadvantages.
For example, social media is great for building a community around a particular issue and for having an engaged conversation with supporters.
However, it requires time and consistency to create content several days a week.
Search engine optimization is a wonderful option to be found if your constituents are looking for a human rights commission around a particular issue.
Similar to social media, it requires an investment of time to create content on a consistent basis. It also requires a very high level of expertise because of the rules of SEO change at least once a week.
Pay-per-click advertising is an aggressive marketing strategy, but it requires a pretty significant financial investment for it to be effective.
Ready for the Next Step?
OK, you know what it takes to design a simple and clean website for your human rights commission.
There are a couple of ways to get started. You can go the DIY route or outsource the task to a reputable company.
If you go the DIY route, there are plenty of resources to take the intimidation out of the task.
You can use templates that you can customize and learn design as you go.
Check out our blog posts about the latest website design tips.