The Decatur-area Emergency Assistance Ministry (DEAM) previously used a standard WordPress template for their site. Below is a screenshot of the landing page they had been using. Every page used the same header photo, along with large blocks of unbroken text.
The DEAM site is equally about an improvement in user experience and marketing and about an improvement in design. This is what we always strive for, and when given the opportunity to improve a non-profit site for a organization that assists people in need, we jumped at the chance.
Our first recommendation was to change the "tone" of the site, especially the home page. The previous site went jumped right into telling who DEAM is, what they do, and some general information in a very text-heavy format with a "Donate" button right in the middle so that it was the first or second thing the eye is drawn to.
We suggested a home page that visually explored the four ministries offered by DEAM, using hands (evoking helping hands) of people in need. On top of those images were the words of scripture that implore people to do good for those in need. Directly under these images are the options for helping and receiving help. Rather than a large "donate" button, we suggested the more warm and engaging language of "I want to help," especially since financial donations are not the only way to help DEAM.
Further down the home page are links to more detailed information, a list of ongoing needs, a graphical representation of how financial donations are used, and an invitation to volunteer. Thus, the home page serves as an overview that sums up the ministry, mission, and outreach of DEAM, presented in a way that is "warmer" and more engaging than their previous site.
Many more changes were made to the site, especially those that improved navigation by adding pages and organizing information, made it easy for volunteers to submit an application, and made it easy for office staff to regularly update their site.
We are appreciative of the work being done by the good folks at DEAM and very proud to have had a part in making their site work better for them through improved marketing techniques and visual design.
They provided very positive feedback as we worked together, but the testimonial we received from the chair of DEAM encapsulated their positive feedback...
We are so pleased with your work and your dedication to the project. We are happy to offer our endorsement of your work to others, and please use us as a reference. We are especially grateful for the many hours you spent working on the site and meeting with our team members to capture and enhance our ideas so completely.
“Website is wonderful!” “It is both beautiful and beautifully functional, even on a phone!” “Glorious” “So well done and easy to navigate” “Excellent job”