Cost: $235 or $188 with 2019 NDANO Member Discount (Login to Members Only Portal for code)
During this five-session series, an Idealware instructor will help you think through how to develop a more useful and engaging website. You will be given a walk-through of website basics, how to lead a redesign project, best practices for accessibility, mobile optimization, content management systems, technical details, and online branding. You will explore how website content works alongside email, direct mail and social media efforts to create an organization’s communications mix.
During this course, you will learn:
- Learn how to audit your website against a core set of questions.
- Conduct an audit of your website.
- Define goals for how your website will serve your audience.
- Learn best practices for designing an accessible, usable and polished website.
- Think through your content strategy and approach to your site’s design.
- Dig into website analytics and learn how to use metrics to optimize your user’s experience.
- Review the technical side of developing and managing your website.
- Synthesize your research, ideas, and strategies into a vision that you can share across your organization.
- Create an action plan and prioritize the steps you will take.
This five-part course takes place Thursdays, Oct. 3-31, 12-1:30 p.m. Central Time.
Starting the Audit Process - Oct. 3
This course kicks off by helping you define your priorities and set goals. Then learn how to lead a hands-on website audit while applying web design best practices. You will review strategies for user interviews and surveys so you can see through other people’s eyes what is working on your website and what needs improvement. Discuss how to synthesize your research, ideas and strategies into a vision that you can share across your organization.
Defining Your Design and Content Strategy - Oct. 10
A website needs content before it can be useful to your constituents. In this session, you will learn how to define your content strategy, starting with your homepage. What content should be on it? Who will create it? What content matters most? The design of your site is as important as the content. Learn how to assess your graphic design and site navigation and walk you through the steps necessary to look at your own site with a critical eye. Also get introduced to wire-framing—a method for visualizing and organizing the structure of your website.
Fleshing Out an Accessible and Usable Website - Oct. 17
Take a look at the goals and best practices behind core web pages. Learn about website analytics to help you identify what’s working and what isn’t, search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure that your site can be found on Google and other sites, and user testing. You will also receive a checklist for best practices for usability and accessibility.
Let’s Get Technical - Oct. 24
With your strategy and goals defined, it’s time to get under the hood. In this session, you will become familiar with the technical side of website design, starting with an overview of content management systems (CMSs), which make it easier for nontechnical staff members to create or update website content themselves. You’ll learn about responsive design and other practices for building mobile-friendly websites. This session will conclude with a discussion on integrating your website with your database, online payment tool and other systems.
Defining Your Priorities and Moving Forward - Oct. 31
Now that your strategy is in place, and you have an understanding of the tools involved, it’s time to put your plan into action. Get an overview of the typical website development process, then discuss how to know whether you need a whole new site, or just an update to your existing one. If you only need to make updates, learn how to define a process to map out what updates should go in a first phase, and then what should come next. Learn what you can do yourself and what tasks are best left to a consultant. By the end of this session, you will walk away with an action plan for “quick hits” and an outline for a more substantial project.
About the Presenter
Since the 1980s, Kathleen has been working with justice movements, often working at the point of intersection between storytelling and technology. She has volunteered, worked and consulted with well over a hundred organizations across the United States on issues including racial and gender justice, family violence, queer liberation, education justice, immigration justice, the overuse of prisons and jails, and economic justice for farmworkers. She has built (and rebuilt) scores of websites, CRMs and email systems, as well as supported organizations with media planning and communications strategy. You can read her advice on social justice communications and technology at www.kathleenpequeno.com.