Posts Tagged ‘design’

Is your website a door or a brick wall?: Activism, social media, and responsive web design

With the current protests in Turkey and Brazil, focus is again being drawn to the role of social media in mass movements agitating for change.

Mobile-friendly channels such as YouTubeTwitter, and Facebook are being leveraged by organic groups of individuals to speak out and mobilize.

News outlets are highlighting social media’s ability to bridge national boundaries to inspire and inform groups thousands of miles away from one another – as well as confuse and muddle their messages and goals.



Tracking and analyzing mobile traffic to your website

We commented earlier on the massive explosion of mobile internet use and how it is contributing to 2013 being the year of responsive web design – responsive web design being a powerful and flexible way to make your site mobile-friendly.

How do you know if your site traffic justifies the investment in making your website mobile-friendly? If you’ve got Google Analytics tracking traffic, you’ve got ready-made reporting waiting for you. Read more »


The year of responsive web design: making your website mobile in 2013

2013 is the year of responsive web design.

Why, and what the heck is responsive web design???, you ask? Fair questions! First, the why.

Responsive design example Read more »


Etsy, the infinite scroll, and lessons for non-profit websites

InfinityWorking at a company that helps organizations figure out how to stay focused when wandering the candy store that is Web technology can be full of interesting anecdotes.  Mostly, it includes stories of accidental techies doing the best they can to make sense of this Web-3-dot-whatever world we’re living in, and trying to find ways to best bring in more donation dollars to support their cause.

Sometimes, this means that the shiny new toys which larger companies play with seem to be an absolute necessity when it comes to their own small non-profit website.  This is completely understandable.  We live in an upgrade-right-now world, where even our web browsers seem to update on a daily basis, often times without us knowing it.

We try to help organizations avoid the shine of the latest fad and focus on raw efficiency gains.  That’s why a Web lesson learned from the good folks at Etsy (fellow B Corporation!) struck a chord with me.  When Etsy implemented the “infinite scroll” in their A/B testing, their findings were really quite interesting.

What’s an infinite scroll you ask?  It’s what happens when you’re looking at search results on sites like Google Images, where as you scroll to what seems to be the bottom of the page, and then all the sudden, wham, more results start to appear.

The vertical scroll is infinitely long!

Okay, back to the lesson at hand.  What Etsy ended up finding is that while the infinite scroll is definitely trending strongly in web design communities, it’s not a tool that you can blindly apply to any website and expect it to actually improve user satisfaction.  In fact, in the case of Etsy, it seemed to cause users to avoid taking the preferred route through the Etsy website.

What does this have to do with non-profit websites?  Quite a bit.  Here’s a few important lessons we can learn from the Etsy case study on the infinite scroll.

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Soapbox site launch: Weatherize DC

weatherizeIn February, PICnet collaborated with our design partners and DC neighbors Free Range Studios, to launch a new Soapbox site for Weatherize DC. The campaign is part of The DC Project, a DC non-profit founded by former leaders of the Obama for America campaign. The DC Project advances economic and environmental justice by creating clean energy career opportunities for people who need them most. Staff are trained in grassroots organizing techniques rooted in metrics-based, data-driven field methods that empower neighborhood volunteers to affect systemic change.

Here are a few highlights from the project and the website:

  • Integration with Democracy-in-Action (DIA) donate, events, and e-newsletter subscription
  • Real time Twitter updates
  • Facebook Fanbox widget that allows for dynamic display of current fans and provides option for end user to become a Facebook fan from the Soapbox site
  • Embedding of WeatherizeDC YouTube channel
  • Custom design for new Soapbox Slideshow on home page
  • Use of new Title Manager

And now a word from Free Range Studios designer Kathi Bahr: “It was truly a pleasure collaborating with an organization that’s doing positive (and tangible!) work for the DC community. We were given complete creative freedom in order to build the new WeatherizeDC brand from start to finish, beginning with a logo design and then website design. It’s rewarding to know we were part of a team that established a creative tool that community members will see and interact with directly.”

In summary – great project, great partner, a great success. Excellent job, team!


Soapbox Site Launch: Studying our Presidents

Picture 2Just in time to celebrate the birth of some our most famous U.S. presidents, PICnet launched a new Soapbox website for the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress (CSPC). CSPC was looking to improve their site architecture so their constituents and followers could more easily locate the valuable publications the organization produces. They also wanted to sharpen up their outdated image.  Through their new Soapbox site, they can even receive online donations through PayPal!

Emily Shaftel was my point-of-contact at CSPC and she was an amazing coordinator for their side.  I always received a quick turnaround, clear and detailed questions and she was very technically savvy with an eye for pushing the website to its limits.  She actually departed CSPC on the day of the launch to go and volunteer for a year in Thailand! Emily definitely made an impact before her departure.

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