People for Puget Sound Analysis

People for Puget Sound are an organization whose mission is to protect and restore the health of our land and waters through education and action. One vehicle used in their efforts is the website whose primary purpose is to educate and inspire action from environmental enthusiasts. Secondary purposes are to sell memberships and solicit donations.

Screen shot: People for Puget Sound

The website is rich with current event content, updates on research projects and opinion about the Sound and the issues surrounding it. Hierarchically this information is easy to find and takes precedence over secondary topics. The upper and left side navigation bars allow for easy moving around the site.

However, while the site is successfully designed to disseminate information, selling memberships and soliciting donations should be the primary function. This arrangement is likely on purpose (so members and potential members don’t think the priorities are skewed) but the end user is likely on the site looking for something they can do now, like donate or join. For example, the Spring Membership Campaign – likely the biggest push of the year – is at the very bottom of the home page whereas it should be part of the top banner graphic on all pages and/or consistently the top story.

Screenshot showing Spring Campaign at bottom of home page

Aesthetically speaking, aside from the lovely natural imagery, the site is very boxy – everything is separated into its own clearly defined box giving it an amateurish style. In addition, the visual design incorporates variable back ground color in the boxes that don’t seem to have a purpose. This may result in visitor confusion over being able to discern navigation buttons from non-buttons.
Screenshot showing button color change and standard side bar attributes. Aside from the questionable aesthetics this website does what it intends: educate and inspire action. However, I would argue that becoming a member or making a gift to the organization should be clearly recognized as a way to take action today.

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