designing member engagement

Member engagement is a topic we can’t ignore in 2017. Socious’s #1 membership prediction for 2017 emphasizes the member’s increased expectations of the member experience. Whether it’s the first touch, renewing members, or reaching out to past members, your goal is to engage that individual and hold their attention. You could have the best blog, outreach campaign, or whitepaper, but then what? Once you have their attention, what are you doing with it?

Your website is an integral part of member engagement. It’s expected to be intuitive, visually appealing, and take the guessing out of where to click next.

Here are 3 tips to design member engagement into your website:

1. Adopt a mobile-first approach

Mobile phones have been officially named as the primary devices used for browsing the web. With a mobile-first approach, your content is designed to fit on mobile screens first, and then work up to how it will look on large screens. By thinking about the mobile version first, you are forced to focus the message of what you are trying to communicate.

Do-away with the fluff, and get straight to the point, because your members are looking for easily digestible content that they can comprehend in minutes. Implement your mobile-first approach with responsive design, and you’re on track for great SEO in 2017.

2. Get rid of the stock images

We are all guilty of over-use of stock images, and as a web visitor – do they really grab your attention? Personally, I skim right past them, and their initial intention, to increase visual appeal, is lost. In order to engage your members visually, you’ll need to consider visuals that are more representative of your brand and what you’re trying to accomplish. Try these options to enhance the visual experience of your site:

Be Strategic with your Typography

Reading on the web comes with its own challenges; make it easier for members with enhanced typography for online experiences. Use large type to stand out, replace images with bold, emotion enhancing type. Push the limits of typography and your members will have no choice but to read what’s in front of them. Higher Logic (below) does a good job of enhancing their current images by adding their tagline in large, bold type.

design member engagement


Create Playful Illustrations

Illustrations allow you to reinvent your brand in a playful way and add a lot of personality to your site. Dropbox (below) is a good example of using illustrations throughout their site to develop a persona for their brand.

design member engagement

Take Real Images

Authentic photography is one of the best ways to exemplify your association’s personality/purpose. Take photos of your staff working, conference sessions, and any other live events when you have the opportunity. People resonate with live human interaction and it’s much more interesting than the same businessman stock photo they saw on the last website they visited.

3. Simplify your Message

We have hit a state of information overload. In 2017, simplicity is key to really reaching your members and increasing engagement. Just like designing for the mobile experience, take out the fluff. Get to the point and tell them exactly where to go. As soon as you start to complicate things and dig into the weeds, you lose the impact you’re looking for and the core message you’re trying to communicate.

This can be done by using a minimalist mindset, maintaining clarity, and utilizing automation. Read more from the Interaction Design Foundation on 4 Ways to Achieve Simplicity in Your Designs.

Interested in how to better engage your members with your eLearning material? Watch our webinar featuring Connie Malamed, eLearning Coach, and her design tips for instructional designers: Crash Course in Visual Design