One of the Three Big Questions we ask in Building a Sustainable Content Ecosystem is “How will your website delight its users?” This question often raises eyebrows, but it is a useful perspective that can help make your website stand out among its competitors.
It is helpful to remember that your website should be more than an electronic brochure. To compete in today’s marketplace, your website needs to engage users. One way to accomplish this is to incorporate functionality that invites direct interaction. Some nonprofits may not have the resources to develop complex functionality for their website, however. Plus, interactive activities focus on user experience rather than content, which raises the question, “How can we shift thinking to focus on a content-related solution to creating delight for users?”
The secret here is in knowing the answers to the other two Big Questions: Why does your website exist? And what does it do specifically to help achieve your mission? These questions help focus thinking about the business objectives for your site and specific strategies for achieving those objectives.
Once you can answer those two questions, you will need to figure out where your business objectives intersect with what your audience cares about. This overlap is a gold mine for creating user delight. The topics that this overlap covers are the “what” of your content.
Next you will need to consider the tone of voice that you employ in delivering the content. This can greatly affect your audience’s perception of your organization, and can help to engender delight in the minds of your users. You might even consider partitioning off a portion of your website, say a blog with a particular focus, to use a lighter and more playful tone of voice than the rest of your site, which could help attract users who might not otherwise be exposed to your content or mission.
Another possibility for creating delight for your users is to reimagine some of your content to appeal to the different consumption habits of various users. I wrote about this practice recently in another post.
In the end, creating user delight doesn’t have to be complicated or resource intensive. It begins with a simple exercise of examining the business objectives of your website and figuring out where that intersects with your users’ needs. Once you’re able to map out appropriate topics using those two exercises, you can play with tone of voice and get creative about presenting the content to help create delight, which will ultimately lead to increased website traffic and a more engaged base of members, funders, and advocates.