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10 Best Practices for Modern Membership Websites

Farhad Chikhliwala  11 June 2010  0 comments

This is a guest post by Lamees Abourahma, Founder and President of Webbright Services and a Wild Apricot Partner.

Your website is the online face of your membership. In addition to keeping your site content up-to-date, you want to keep your website design modern by incorporating new techniques that make your site more user-friendly and technologically relevant. However, due to the constant innovations in website design and technology, it can be difficult for membership groups to keep up. To help you identify the features and trends you can use in your website, we’ve gathered the 10 best website design practices for modern websites.

1. Mobile friendly

Having a mobile-friendly website is no longer an option, it’s a requirement. As association members increasingly depend on their phones to search for and visit websites, having a mobile-friendly website your members can access is a must.  
(Photo source: https://developers.google.com/webmasters/)

2. Scrolling

Scrolling has overtaken clicking as user’s preferred method of navigating through sites, and longer, scrollable sites give your site visitors an easy, intuitive experience. An additional option is modular scrolling, where you can scroll down a single column instead of the entire page.

3. Rotating Images

Your website needs to be visually appealing while giving visitors large amounts of information. Having rotating images on your website pages allows you to keep your site interesting and add new text to each image, giving you a chance to get more information on your page without sacrificing the layout.

Click on the image below to interact with Webbright's rotating images

(Photo source: www.webbrightservices.com)

4. Hover Effects

Hover effects allow you to add information to your site without increasing clutter. They can be used anywhere on your site, and their content is only limited by what you want to say.

Click on the image below to interact with Mountain Dew's product Lineup
mountain dew
(Photo source: www.mountaindew.com/products)

5. Fixed Navigation

Fixed navigation at the top and bottom of your pages allows you to keep important information and resources accessible at all times. This is particularly useful if your site is scrollable, as visitors can scroll to the bottom of a page and navigate away without having to scroll back to the top.

6. Hidden Menus

A new trend in website design is adding hidden menus, which are menus and navigation bars that are hidden until you interact with a specific element, usually on the top right or top left of the screen. This allows you to have a detailed menu without sacrificing space or visual appeal.

Click on the image below to interact with the hidden menu on the top right of the screen
your new class awaits
(Photo source: http://www.brianhoffdesign.com)

7. Media Friendly

Social media is one of the most important online resources and activities for associations, and members and visitors expect to be able to find your social media presence through your website. Add links to your association’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and any other social media accounts that your association regularly uses.

8. Multimedia Effects

Website visitors expect a great deal more than simply text on a page. Introduce multimedia effects such as slideshows, videos, recordings, or webinars to your site to broaden your website’s offerings and generate interest.

9. Card Design

Cards (also called tiles, zones, etc.) are packages of information that you interact with, usually in the form of a rectangle. Card design allows associations to fit topics and calls to action in neatly packaged sets that can be easily moved and rearranged, while giving users the option of clicking on or otherwise interacting with the cards to find out more.

Click on the image below to interact with VVMA's card design
card design
(Photo source: www.vvma.org)

10. Split Screens

Split screens, where vertical breaks divide a page on your site into two or more sections, allow you to present two related ideas or items together, while giving equal prominence to both.

Discover What Works Best For You

Website design is constantly evolving, and you need to be consistent in updating your website or risk getting left behind. An obviously outdated site calls your association’s relevance into question, which is not the result you want from the front page of your organization. However, you don’t have to rush to adopt every new design trend. Identify the trends and features that work best for you, your organization, and your membership, and you’ll create a vibrant, valuable site.

Lamees AbourahmaAbout the guest author:

Lamees Abourahma is Founder and President of Webbright Services, a high performance provider specializing in membership website design and development on the Wild Apricot platform.

About Webbright Services:

Webbright is a Wild Apricot Partner, specializing in membership website design and development on the Wild Apricot platform.

Contact a Webbright advisor today to learn about how to make your membership website more modern and functional. Download their free Association Website Quick Starter Guide here.

Related Articles:

Farhad Chikhliwala [Professor Apricot] Farhad Chikhliwala [Professor Apricot]

Posted by Farhad Chikhliwala [Professor Apricot]

Published Friday, 11 June 2010 at 10:09 AM
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