The Twitter feeds are starting to run hot with requests for Followers to vote for the various sites nominated for the 2009 People’s Choice Website of the Year Awards, with the full line-up of shortlisted nonprofits looking like this:
2009 markes the sixth time these awards have been organised by online research agency MetrixLab and they are apparently the “largest annual ‘people’s choice’ website awards” around, with members of the public ranking the sites based on ‘design’, ‘navigation’, and ‘content’.
Awards aside, it’s also interesting from a general online engagement perspective to browse the shortlisted sites to see just what the different organisations are doing to make their websites especially attractive to online consumers.
Unfortunately, what is most striking is that so many of the landing pages deluge you with so much information and so many calls to action that you end-up with an engagement opportunity overload likely to lead to option paralysis for all but the most focused visitor. I’m not going to name and shame the worst offenders – as I’m sure you’ll spot them if you have a browse.
However, there are some noteable exceptions. British Heart Foundation goes for a cleaner approach, with clear integration with its current advertising campaign and iPhone-like buttons for “quick links”. Likewise, WWF’s homepage goes for simple clarity from the outset – with a wonderfully striking close-up of a Tiger staring out at me and then two columns entitled “We do…” and “You can…”, alongside four clear engagement buttons.
Greenpeace’s blog-style landing page with calls to action in the sidebar also works for me, helping me focus on the key things they want to tell me about the UN Climate Summit (including a great embedded YouTube video) while still making clear the range of personal responses I can make.
Voting in the awards is open until 8th December and the winners will be announced on 15th December.