Today I'm going to try dipping my toes lightly but concretely into what it might be like to try a stock exchange for non-profits. A technical term for this is called the "user experience", sometimes abbreviated by "UX".
User experience design can be very formal, with professionals spending their full-time thinking about it, designing things visually, testing it out, and getting people to test it out.
To help get some forward momentum, I'm going to pretend I'm in a sleeping bag, looking up at the stars, and brainstorming with some friends about user experience -- verbally. Try to imagine it. I guess if you're reading then you're at the campfire too. There are no mosquitoes, but there are crickets chirping nearby, and the temperature is just right.
It would be nice to have an experience that was familiar to people who have invested in the stock market, or who have a retirement account of some kind. But it would also be nice to be simpler, maybe a bit more friendly, less intimidating. Informational, but not too "cutesy".
I think walking in the door, it might be nice to have some simple options at the top, such as:
How It Works
There would likely be more categories, but that is a start I suppose.
I think it might also be nice to have some kind of 1-2-3 "Wizard" on the front page, so that when you visit, without even having to click on anything, it gives you a simple overview of how things work.
At the time of writing, there seem to be a lot of sites out there that are putting just about everything on a single page, that you can just scroll through, without having to click on anything. That might be something to consider too; I think it's partly because of many people are visiting websites on mobile devices, where it might just be simpler to "scroll down" if you want to read more.
I want to keep this post short - so I'll get right into a potential "1-2-3"
Welcome to NPOEx, a stock exchange for non-profit organizations. Here's how to get started. (with a nice spiffy graphic of some kind, based on other similer 1-2-3 approaches)
1. Claim your free currency.
2. Choose an organization to invest it in.
3. Sign-up to complete the process.
How does that sound? You can comment at the bottom of this post, or at www.facebook.com/npoex - you don't need to have any technical expertise -- just imagine whether that would be friendly, if it would make sense.
Part of the reason step 1 might be free currency is to encourage people to try it. Then perhaps once you try, you might invest money of your own in a non-profit organization. And there probably would be some kind of simple paragraph explanation at the top of the screen, as well as "take a tour" links, and "learn more about NPOEx" for people who wanted to learn more.
But as a starting point, as the "front lobby" of a user experience, that's what I'm thinking.