Simplify your site for COVID-19 communication

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During the pandemic, organizations are posting information to websites as fast as possible. Stay Home guidelines started as a short statement on day one, but quickly becomes a maze of updates, tips and resources. If you feel like your visitors are becoming trapped in information overload, there’s a way out.

Simplify.

Here are four steps any organization can take that require some structure, but not a lot of time. We’re using small cities as examples because they cover numerous topics for many audiences with limited staff.

Step 1: Address navigation

  • Place a COVID-19 information link at the top of the home page. No scrolling or disappearing banners. Ideally the link shows on every page of the website.
  • Keep clicks to a minimum.
  • You can’t miss Wilsonville, Oregon’s COVID-19 information—the city also provides a navigation bar for the page itself.

Step 2: Break information into categories

  • Identify what matters most to your visitors.
  • Segment your information into those categories and give it structure so visitors can see what’s available at-a-glance.
  • Sumner, Washington leverages graphic icons for quick links to key resources.

Step 3: Make visuals count

  • Add visuals to tell a more compelling story.
  • Avoid stock photography when you can, so your audience can see themselves in your community.
  • Puyallup, Washington called on JayRay to design a new site that couples icons with actionable headlines to create a series of calls-to-action. Interesting photos help share new stories in a “did you know?” section.

Step 4: Give leadership a voice in its own space

  • It’s important to share messages of compassion and community, but give those a dedicated place to live. For simplicity’s sake, keep information and resources separate.
  • Renton, Washington addresses the heart-and-head issues of COVID-19 with a “just-the-facts” resource page and a separate newsletter offering mayoral insights.

We appreciate everyone’s hard work on the front lines of communicating about COVID-19.

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