Last June, we began updating our website, offering a new home page to users who haven't registered with GuideStar or to visitors who have registered with us but aren't logged in. We also revised the nonprofit reports to make them easier to navigate. A few weeks later, we introduced revamped pages for four of our products: GuideStar Premium Search, GuideStar Charity Check, GuideStar APIs, and Financial SCAN.
We're now about to launch a new home page for visitors who use our persistent log-in as well as responsive layouts for people who access our site with mobile devices.
New Home Page
Registered users who clicked the "Keep me signed in box" when they logged in to GuideStar will soon see the page in the illustration when they visit our home page. Like the home page we introduced in June, this new page puts our nonprofit search front and center, because most people who come to our site do so to search for nonprofits. Note: you'll need to click the advanced search link (number 1 in the illustration) to use our knowledge base search, which is available to all users, or our people search, which is available to GuideStar Premium Search and GuideStar Pro Search subscribers.
The new page also adjusts the navigation links, based on what our users told us when we asked them to review and comment on different navigation schemes for our site.
The links at the top of the page—number 2 at the top of the illustration—have been simplified:
But don't worry—the old links are still available. They've just been moved to the bottom of the page—number 3 at the bottom of the illustration:
To get to your My Account page, shopping cart, and sign-out link, you'll click the arrow beside your name at the top right of the page (number 4 in the illustration):
The new navigation will also appear throughout the site as we introduce our new mobile-friendly pages.
Right now, our site is mobile unfriendly. That's about to change. Although relatively few people visit our site using mobile devices, we want to improve the experience for them. Our new pages will automatically adjust to the screen size you're using, changing horizontal layouts to vertical ones, using larger type that's easier to read on small screens, and displaying larger buttons.
We're excited about the changes we're making to our site. We'll be introducing new upgrades in 2015 to continue making www.guidestar.org easier to use.
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Suzanne E. Coffman
© 2014, GuideStar USA, Inc.
Suzanne Coffman is GuideStar's editorial director and editor of the GuideStar Newsletter.