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Mobile responsive vs. mobile optimized: which is best for your non-profit website?

June 2, 2017
 
By Emily Westover

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Did you know that 18%1 of donations were made on a mobile device in 2016 and 19%1 of event registration is done through mobile? These figures are expected to increase in 2017.

With such a rapidly increasing number of mobile users, you may be losing out on donations if your donation page is not mobile-friendly.

As non-profits look for ways to acquire and retain millennial donors, it’s important to have a user friendly mobile site. Last year, 87%2 of millennials donated to charity, and with 85%2 of this demographic owning a smartphone, it’s important to ensure your non-profit does not get left behind with a poorly designed mobile site.

Mobile optimized and mobile responsive are two terms generating buzz in the tech world. Although they sound similar, they actually mean two different things. Let’s break it down:

If a page is mobile responsive, generally this means that your page was designed first for Desktop, and with a mobile responsive design, the elements will shrink down proportionately to fit a smaller screen.
A mobile optimized page is typically designed specifically for improved UX on a mobile device. This generally means different sized images and banners, larger buttons and simple navigation design, larger font and less copy. A mobile optimized site may also use more neutral background and font colours.
In the fundraising world, we already know that your call-to-action should be greatly emphasized on your page, but it becomes even more important when working on mobile. With that in mind, here are some tips to best optimize your mobile fundraising page:
 
  1. Less is more – when it comes to copy, you don’t want your users to have to sift through a lot of text on their mobile device before getting to your call to action. On smaller screens with limited space, getting right down to the point is important. Let your users know what you want them to do (donate or register) in the simplest terms you can.
  2. Optimize your donation and registration forms. The less fields a donor has to fill out, the quicker the donation process, the more likely it is that they complete the donation process, especially on mobile. Only require the most necessary fields. Keep user profile fields to a minimum by only capturing the most necessary information.
  3. Photo sizes – take the time to resize any banners, logos and images for a smaller screen to avoid any distortion and blurriness.
  4. Make it easy for your site visitors to donate or register for your event by having your call to action button big, bold, and high up on the page or “above the fold.”
  5. Limit the amount of video, graphics, plugins, etc you are using on your mobile page as these can make the page take longer to load on some devices.
 
So, should your non-profit choose a mobile responsive or a mobile optimized website? It really comes down to the design of your site. If your site was built with Desktop design front-of-mind, with lots of specific formatting, your site may be best suited for a mobile optimized mobile site. If mobile usability has been considered throughout the evolution of your website design you are likely suited for a mobile responsive page. As mobile technology continues to improve and change, stay tuned for exciting mobile enhancements for your raisin Pledge pages!  

1 https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/industries/Nonprofit/nonprofit-it-services-and-solutions.html
2 Huffington Post

 
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