Let’s face it: some association websites stink. Maybe they haven’t been given enough attention and love, or maybe association members just aren’t the type to care too much about graphic design. But those excuses aren’t going to cut it in an increasingly digital world.
The following association website design tips are intended to help those of you with a boxy homepage — which looked amazing on those square monitors that no one uses anymore. But really, anyone considering a redesign, or even small modifications to the association’s website, should keep these rules in mind.
Protech Associates recently shared these suggestions on Associations Now, but considering how often an organization is judged by their website, we figured it’d be smart to expand on them here. And don’t forget, the Protech team can help you style your website or member portal if you’re looking to implement any of these changes.
3 Must-Follow Association Website Design Rules
1 – Make it Modern
Like we mentioned earlier, associations are often judged by their websites. Just like books are judged by their covers and people are judged by their appearance. None of these are strong indicators of quality or performance, right? Nonetheless, it’s the way the world works.
If your association doesn’t keep things professional and modern on its website, people will think you’re association itself isn’t professional and modern.
Double check a few things on your most-used web pages:
- Grammar and spelling: make sure it is correct, or risk looking amateur
- Photos and layout
- Banners for old events or information
- Outdated design elements
- Up-to-date content
Any of those is bound to turn off prospective members now and again. So don’t set your membership team up for failure with poor association website design.
2 – Optimize for Mobile Users
It’s safe to assume many of your members and prospective members are looking at your site on their phones. In fact, 52.3 million people in the United States will only look at websites on their phones by 2021. (Source: Statista)
Think of it this way… Two industry folks are at a social event or business gathering — no laptops or desktops in sight. One is a proud member of your association and suggests the other see what they’re missing.
But your association website design isn’t responsive. Everything’s either too big to easily comprehend or too small to make anything out. Not great.
Don’t be that association. Enter the wonderful world of mobile-first design. Your mobile-only members will thank you.
3 – Make Sure Your Website is Easy to Navigate
This one’s especially important for members.
You want event registrations. And for professional development courses to be utilized. And much more. If people have a hard time finding those offerings, they won’t use them, they won’t see the value of your association and they might not renew.
It’s like being lost at the grocery store when you were a kid. You’re not exactly sure how you got lost, and you don’t really know who to ask for help. Don’t make members feel that way. Put links and pages in places that are easy to find. It’s what’s best for you and your members.
Final Thoughts on Association Website Design
Want to learn more about association websites and member portals? Watch this complimentary webinar highlighting website best practices for associations.