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The Cheeky Monkey Media Blog

A few words from the apes, monkeys, and various primates that make up the Cheeky Monkey Super Squad.

How to think about your website so you attract donors and volunteers

How to think about your website so you attract donors and volunteers

A quick google search and a few conversations with non-profit employees suggests that as a member of a nonprofit, you would probably like to:

  1. Attract potential donors and convert them to actual donors.

  2. Optimize your time so that the your tasks are completed ahead of schedule

  3. Attract potential volunteers and convert them to actual volunteers

  4. Get less phone calls and emails asking for information already available online

  5. Increase awareness of your organization and your cause, leading to more interest and subsequently more support and participation

Can a website really help you do all that? You bet! 

The short answer is User Experience (UX).

You’ve probably heard the term User Experience (UX) before, but can’t necessarily visualize it.  As our Creative Director Chris tells me, User Experience (UX) is often confused with User Interface (UI).

  • The UX refers to an analytical and technical process that informs the UI.
  • The UI is what the person actually interacts with and is in some cases considered the design or graphic design.

If your head’s spinning already, it may be helpful to think about the difference using a car as an example:


The design of the car (exterior and interior)

  • Body shape, color styling, spoiler or no spoiler etc.
  • Seats, environmental controls, dashboard design and materials, steering wheel, gearshift design, etc.
  • Anything else that contributes to how the car is interacted with and performs

The UX is how all the parts of the car come together to provide the Experience of driving, and the thought process behind their placements and feel. The aim of the UX process is to make the car easy, safe and desirable to use. 

  • Ergonomics within the controls (how easy it to set cruise control, operate the air con, or adjust seats, and steering wheel
  • Overall comfort
  • How UI/Styling affects the driver emotionally (likes or dislikes etc.)
  • How the brake, clutch and gas pedal spaced for optimum reaction time, etc.

Good UX doesn’t just make your car easy to use, or safe to use, it makes it something you WANT to drive.

In short, UX is how everything comes together and how you experience the end product. UI, on the other hand, has less to do with the product experience as a whole, and more to do with design and front-end structure.

Need another way to think about it? The UI is part of the UX, and the UX is the thought behind the UI. A great product or interactive experience starts with UX and is followed by UI. Both are essential for any product’s success.

Still confused and overwhelmed? Don’t worry. That’s a reasonable reaction when faced with a question like, “how do I fix my website’s User Experience?”

The problem, I think, is that people throw the phrase UX around like it’s something simple, like all you have to do is fix the UX and everything will be fine.

While everything will be fine, and addressing UX is probably the best thing you can do for your website, this is a multi-step process. Sometimes, what you think should be a simple fix or revision, just isn’t.

Amazon, for example, is an extremely simple and intuitive site - at least that’s the experience. However, as a wise monkey once said “I am not down with implying that something as wicked as Amazon might not have tested the shit out of their site. It’s a fact! Amazon did and continues to do a lot of testing to ensure their website kicks ass.”

You heard the lady (monkey): a lot of testing goes into making sure your website provides a simple and intuitive user experience.

That said, there are a number of ways that a web developer can help you clean-up and optimize your site on a smaller scale.

At Cheeky Monkey, our project managers spend copious amounts of time working with our clients nail down their exact requirements and helping them prioritize their needs based on their budgets and staffing constraints.  Usually this sort of staggered approach is referred to as a Maintenance package.  Most web developers should be able to offer their clients something similar. 

Go to part two...

Or maybe you’ve hit a standstill, and would like to know where to even start looking? Give us a call. We can work through it together.

Need more information, or just excited to uncover your website's true potential and ability to help your organization build authentic relationships? Download the Nonprofit's Guide to Planning a Website.

Need an overview of what's going on with your website, what's working and what isn't? Check our our Drupal & WordPress Code Review.

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