5 Web Design Trends and How Your NPO Can Take Advantage

Over 46 percent of people say that the design of an organization’s website is the number one criterion in determining credibility. With nearly half of the public looking at your website to judge if you’re legitimate, it’s important to make a good first impression. With both technology and users’ preferences changing constantly, that’s not always the easiest thing to do. We’ve gathered some of the more popular web design trends from around the Internet. Check them out and see how you can use the tips for your organization’s site.

Striking Images

As monitors get larger and internet speeds get faster, many sites have begun to take advantage of large, high definition images. A popular trend is to use these photos as the backdrop of their home page or splash page.

This trend plays right into the hands of many nonprofit organizations. Shocking images are a great tool that many organizations use at fundraising events and on social media. If the first thing that viewers see on your website is a striking image paired with a call to action or mission statement, that message is likely to stick with them for the rest of their time on your site, and possibly even after they’ve left.


“Long” websites are popular right now. These kinds of sites show most information on the homepage, revealing more the further down you scroll. There are usually several other pages with more in-depth information for those users that want to read more about a certain topic, but the majority of the content can be seen on the first page. These kinds of sites are mobile-friendly—an important aspect of modern design that constantly needs to be kept in mind.

This is another trend that can prove to be beneficial for NPOs. Storytelling is a useful tool to educate readers about issues, your organization’s story and what you’re doing to combat these issues. If you can control the order the reader digests your story, that gives you more control over how it’s perceived. You can also provide more detail into certain topics for those especially curious visitors by adding other pages.

Full-Screen Forms

Another effective trend involves putting online forms on pop-up screens instead of their own page. Whether it’s a form for donations, joining a mailing list or volunteering, putting the form on a single page has several advantages. This can make the forms more legible and easy to interact with. It also removes clutter, allowing the user to focus on the task at hand.

If you aren’t utilizing your website to collect potential volunteers’ information or donations, it’s time to start. If you already are, play around with the way these forms are presented. It could be the difference between a new volunteer or donor and somebody leaving a form incomplete.


Faster loading speeds have made utilizing video easier than ever. Some sites will use them to complement other content, while others have opted to use videos as backgrounds. This can create a unique and professional website, but it could also come off as distracting. Finding a middle ground is vital.

This is sort of like the “next step” of the HD photo trend. If it’s done right, using video can have the same, if not stronger, effect on viewers. Test out a couple of different ways to integrate video to see what works the best for you.


Well-designed infographics can convey important data that might be missed otherwise. According to 3M Corporation, 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and the brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Still not convinced? Publishers using infographics see their traffic grow 12 percent more than those that don’t.

In the nonprofit sector where statistics are a great way to raise awareness, infographics should be used often. Don’t stop at your website; use them for social media, marketing materials, events and anywhere else you think they could be beneficial.


Websites are more important now than they ever have been, and they’ll only continue to grow. The Internet is the go-to resource for most people, whether they want to get involved or just learn more. Keeping your website looking good and up-to-date can make a huge difference in involvement and awareness related to your cause.

web design trends

Austin Heineman

June 1, 2016

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