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Launched: New website for a community food pantry

Posted Monday, August 1, 2022
— Nonprofits, Website Launch

Shelburne Food Shelf selected Ecopixel as its partner to create an effective new website for the nonprofit. The completely redesigned website helps the Food Shelf further its mission of improving food security and providing non-food aid. The website has built-in features that include: a shopping time selection system, volunteer sign-up system, and donation form. It follows ADA guidance and WCAG standards for web accessibility – something that is surprisingly overlooked by many nonprofits as they update and maintain their websites.

Before coming to Ecopixel, the community organization's website had suffered for some time with an out-of-date "website builder" template that didn't reflect the organization's brand or mission. The pages had become increasingly cluttered and difficult to navigate, as the basic, cookie-cutter system could not handle evolving content needs.

Ecopixel created a clean, easy-to-navigate, and mobile-friendly website design. The design uses clear iconography and white space, with the #1 goal of connecting those in need with the Food Shelf's services.

The new design places all important content "above the fold," even on lower-cost Chromebooks, tablets, and smartphones. Ecopixel also wrote succinct, plain-language messaging for the home page and other key pages with the goal of increasing accessibility. We optimized the "microcopy" (user interface text) so everything is clearly labeled and easy to understand. Ecopixel collaborated with the Food Shelf to restructure the website's content and prioritize pages in the website's navigation.

Ecopixel also added a shopping time sign-up system. The old website needed to use an external service for sign-ups that was clunky and confusing for shoppers. Ecopixel solved this by creating a built-in system that keeps shoppers on the nonprofit's user-friendly website while they pick from one of the available 15-minute time slots. Shoppers can now sign up in a minimum number of clicks from the home page. The sign-up system helps keep shoppers safe and healthy during Covid, while allowing food pantry volunteers to plan for restocking needs.

Ecopixel developed and tested the site's design to foster inclusion and follow ADA guidance by conforming to WCAG 2.1 Level AA accessibility standards. This is the current standard for ensuring visitors with disabilities do not have barriers when using the website.

Ecopixel also created a new online sign-up form for new volunteers. The previous form was a multi-page PDF document. It took a lot of time for potential volunteers to read and fill out, and for the Food Shelf to process. Now, signing up as a volunteer is efficiently accomplished in one click from the home page.

Online donations are key to funding any nonprofit's operations. Ecopixel replaced an outdated, external payment page with a secure built-in form that handles one-time as well as monthly and yearly recurring donations. The food pantry is also now in control of the email thank-you notes that go out automatically out to donors.

Ecopixel will continue to be a resource to this food pantry by providing a watchful eye over website operations and supporting website editors.