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GuideStar Blog

Going Responsive

Recently my colleague, GuideStar’s Product Manager Scott Menzel, told you that www.guidestar.org is mobile unfriendly—but that it’s about to change.

mobileI’m pleased to follow-up to his post with an announcement of a big milestone for the site: the launch of a new, responsive redesign of our home page as well as other sections of guidestar.org. We hope you like the brighter look and feel, and, more importantly, we hope the page functions well for you on desktop, tablets, and mobile devices alike. Let me speak for the whole team as we let out a big sigh of relief.

What precipitated this responsive redesign? Tiny screens. A growing portion of our users consume guidestar.org from devices other than desktop computers, and that number is only going to grow. In a world where more and more users want to use guidestar.org with tiny screens, we needed to take action.

We set a goal to make the guidestar.org experience be continuous and elegantly functional across all devices, and decided to embark upon a responsive redesign of the site. A responsive website is designed to fluidly resize so that it is always easy to read and navigate for any screen size, no matter what kind of device you use. Looking under the hood, this means crafting designs that use fluid grids, flexible images, and media queries to help the site perform well at all sizes.

Behind the scenes, we are also adapting how our design and development teams work together to design, prototype, and iterate as we adopt a more flexible approach to building for the web. And we are thrilled to launch the first set of responsive pages for you to use.

The new design has a bunch of features we are really excited about:

We wanted to think about how to utilize the whole screen, so you’ll now see layouts that are 100% width.

A second goal was to make the navigation accessible for all devices. To that end, we performed some user testing that guided us towards a simplification of our overall site navigation—something that we are excited to roll out, even though we know that changing the navigation scheme might be a little bit confusing to get used to.

All of our redesign efforts are focused on improving the guidestar.org user experience: our team is committed to making it easier and faster to access and share information about nonprofits.

Out motivation is simple—better data leads to better decisions, and better decisions lead to a better world.

Sarah Madden Sarah Madden

Designing and building tools for the web is a world in which the only constant is change. We’ve planned this responsive redesign to be an incremental, iterative process. As much as I wish everything was perfect on this first release, we are deliberate in our plans to keep enhancing, testing, and adding features in the coming months. We’re looking forward to weaving in more data visualizations to the site, and improving our search tools, too. This is just the first step. We hope you enjoy it!

Would you like to give us feedback about the new guidestar.org? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Sarah Madden is GuideStar's director of design.

Topics: Nonprofit Leadership and Practice