You asked, we listened: NTEN’s website redesign beta launch!

April Fools' Day Website PrankApril Fools’ Day Website Prank

April 2 Update: This was all an April Fools’ Day prank! Read about our actual latest progress in our April Fools’ Day! + A Real Update about Our Website Redesign post.

April 1 Post:

We’re happy to announce the beta launch of our website redesign! This launch has been a long-time coming — read through the process in previous case study posts:

Just as we say in our organizational values, we embrace change. We love it when we have just the right amount of quarters for the Pac-Man machine. Change is inevitable (after all, there are only so many paper bills in the world), and we strive to be heads (and tails) above the rest when it comes to embracing new technologies — sometimes with a hug; sometimes with a firm handshake. We think our new website reflects our new direction(s) and reflects our responsiveness to the dynamic, often uneven, pace of technology innovation.

In the interest of transparency, we wanted to point out a few design elements and considerations that went into our new website:

Stick with classic design. As any bow-tie-wearing Portland hipster on a fixed-gear bike would agree, retro is the new modern. We chose to stay with our existing information architecture to truly reflect NTEN’s history and founding in 2000, recalling the early days of web design. We learned from Community feedback that keeping a simple appearance should be a key consideration in our redesign. We’re listening — and kept the new site simple, with identical content and organizational structure.

Data-driven decision making. We love data and, according to our Google Analytics data, a growing number of our website visitors access the NTEN website from a mobile device or tablet. Increasingly, NTEN Community members are interacting with our website while taking a bumpy bus ride or balancing a cup of coffee with one hand and typing in a password with the other. Since we know it’s important to adapt marketing efforts for an increasingly mobile world and meet your users where they are, we wanted a look and feel that would truly reflect the shaky hands accessing our website.

Use graphics to get attention. Marketing experts often point to the importance of graphics to get attention. With so much information at our fingertips in today’s world, your nonprofit website needs to stand out. Therefore, we picked a bright color palette to catch the eye and create an impact (and a migraine or two). We hope it captures the playful spirit of NTEN, and perhaps inspires you to visit a carnival.

Pick a bold font. When you have to deliver controversial information, Comic Sans is your font of choice. No matter how difficult or devastating the message, the news is much easier to swallow when it’s written in Comic Sans font. (Side note: We highly encourage the use of Comic Sans the next time you have to make an office sign reminding your co-workers to please clean up their dishes.)

We’d like to give a huge thanks to our Community for all the helpful feedback and support you’ve given to make this beta launch possible. Please let us know what you think in the comments.

This is the home of nonprofit professionals learning about the ways technology helps them meet their missions. More than 50,000 community members access NTEN’s capacity-building programs and services, including educational courses, the Nonprofit Technology Conference, and online and in-person discussion spaces.