Friday, January 19, 2007

New homepage wireframe developments

Greater discussion on the homepage has produced two new drafts. The big difference from our first round is that we've added a few extra bells and whistles.

In round two, we addressed the following:

  • A quick link drop down menu for our "In Your Region' section.
  • Changed 'River Basics' to something a little more clever, 'Riverpedia'.
  • A direct link to our signature campaign, 'America's Most Endangered Rivers'.
  • Added 'What You Can Do' to already existing 'Donate Now.'
  • Changed 'Hot Topics' to 'Outer Banks' (the proposed name for the blog).
In the third round of edits, we made a couple of additional changes after a few more meetings and a little more discussion with our team leading the design build out. The biggest question for us was whether or not we include a big 'Donate Now' link on the top left navigation. If we did, that would make four separate entry points to 'giving' on the home page.

Grant it, we want to make giving a very simple thing for people to do, but paired with 'What You Can Do' in the left navigation, it seemed to be a little overkill (one of the things you can do is donate to us). I felt that having a clown nose donate button on the homepage (remember that there are 3 other entry points) wasn't necessary because:
  1. Already reinforced on the header, top bar, and what you can do link on the homepage.
  2. Does not specifically speak to community leaders, first time visitors, and river partners. Greater emphasis is on developing a relationship with our users, building rapport that encourages them to return to the site, learn more, and get involved—not just give.
  3. Online donors are younger (avg age is 40: network for good study) than offline (tend to be 60+) and are becoming increasingly more savvy with link placements, i.e. clown noses are less needed now than before.
So, for now, the 'Donate Now' link on the homepage left navigation has been removed, but I sense this will not be the end of the discussion. Other changes included:
  • Name of our blog 'Outer Banks' to 'Water Log' or Water Blog'.
  • Changed 'Free Stuff' to 'Fun Stuff'
  • Added 'Shop' to the bottom of the left navigation.
  • Moved 'Contact Us' from the header navigation to the footer.
  • Changed 'Riverpedia' back to 'River Basics' - a little too cute.

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