Build for the behavior your want. The way a website works has a powerful effect on how people interact with it. Beyond usability, it’s creating a place so compelling that it elicits curiosity and seemingly-inevitable action.
Consider two best practice examples:
Fundaising / External Behavior
WeCanBuildAnOrphanage.com is an old-fashioned barnraising. Three people rallying thousands to build a home for AIDS orphans. The site is aimed at grassroots fundraising – at raising money a brick, diaper, a bottle at a time:
But this is the compelling part of the build:
Don’t just write a check, drag and drop the contribution you want to make. Literally buy the bricks that will build the walls that protect the kids.
Community Building / Internal Behavior
My home agency actually worked on this one. The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio – a foundation investing in social change for women and girls - not only built a new Website, they built new expectations for how they’d interact with their community.
The entire site is built on the blog-engine Wordpress, giving them access to lots of free plugins and widgets (search, photo hosting, email updates) and a built-in content management and reporting system.
Smart use of resources to be sure. But, more than that, it’s creating a new behavior among the staff – knighting them all as bloggers who update the site consistently, sharing their work and time with their community. And, making it easy – or even obvious – to integrate with social tools, promoting events through email, sure, but also on Facebook, Twitter, etc.