Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity
A NetCommunity Case Study
– Rob Caudill, Director of Graduate Development
The team at Phi Gamma Delta (aka The FIJIs) all recognized that their NetCommunity site, last redesigned in 2012, was an outdated site that was in desperate need of an upgrade. Both programming and design sensibilities have changed significantly in 4 years. In 2012, “responsive programming” a brand new concept and the design changes necessary to support responsive programming were very new. The FIJIs were not ready to be on the cutting edge in 2012 but understood the necessity now. Responsive design demands a completely new approach to your website in order to simplify the audience experience. The Phi Gamma Delta team kept falling lower and lower in Google organic searches simply because their website was not coded as ‘mobile-friendly’.
Since 2012, their site had become scattered with their community portal confusing, it just was not meeting audience needs. After a new review of their options, staff confirmed their original contention that Nonprofit Garden was the most knowledgeable team and the most cost-effective solution. The fact that they had worked with the same designers/programmers over the past 5 years was a huge plus!
Nonprofit Garden held extensive discovery sessions onsite with FIJI’s leadership team to identify priorities and goals for the new site. These key discussions led to a major shift in how information would be organized on the site to allow for greater interaction between alumni, brothers, and pledges.
As a result, the new responsive site has a wider visual presentation that includes an open/flexible layout that keeps users from feeling “boxed in.” The homepage now features scrolling social media feeds and clear call-to-actions to help users dive into the new site.
The reduced number of internal templates as well as the addition of a multi-pane flexible layout now allows the FIJI team to maintain their site independently and easily adapt to the needs of their audience adjusts in the future. The addition of a “quick-link” bar in the footer keeps online action items available and easily accessible no matter where users are in the site.
Nonprofit Garden met with the web management team onsite to provide 3 days of custom training. After many years of staff turnover, the training began with a full refresher of NetCommunity basics. For more advanced users, training covered best practices for maintaining a responsive site and orientation to the site’s new features and functionality. A set of fully responsive email layouts and e-news templates were also created to replicate the design updates in the new site. What was actually updated?
- Social media feeds highlighted on the homepage
- Addition of a quick-link bar that is persistent throughout the site to help users navigate the site.
- Utilize flexible layouts with the addition of expand/collapse for content heavy items
- Embedded interactive Google map to allow users to explore the list of nationwide chapters in a more active manner.
- Interactive version of the fraternity’s magazine added to the site for improved user experience
- Elevated donation form design that utilizes easy to use buttons & gift impact statements
We all enjoyed our training experience with Rebecca. She helped us understand our new site and was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. Training was productive for both staff already familiar with NetCommunity and novice users. After the training, we all felt comfortable with what we needed to do on the website.”
– Erica Carlson, Director of Communications
Immediate feedback from both internal and external users has been extremely positive. As a result of the improved user experience, the number of site users per day doubled directly after launch and is up an average of 17% compared to the previous year. A review of Google analytics also shows that users are finding what they’re looking for more quickly and the overall bounce rate is down 5% from the previous year.
View the website at www.phigam.org