The power of the crowd can be mighty, particularly if you’ve been planning on doing something but just don’t have the time. Sometimes turning it over to your members for ideas can be the quickest brainstorming session you’ve (n)ever been a part of.
Crowdsourcing, in this project, means turning over the idea generation to your members. Ask them for suggestions on your web design and usability or content ideas, but get them involved.
How Your Members Can Help
Redesigning or organizing your website can be frustrating and although you visit it often, you don’t use it in the same way your members do. You’re not looking for information, you already know where it is. Asking your members for help in a redesign can have a lot of positive effects on your association such as
- It saves you time. Reviewing suggestions is often quicker than coming up with your own.
- It gets them involved in a new way. When people are a part of the decision-making process, they have an added interest in the outcome. This is a unique way to engage your members.
- It presents solutions from a new group. Crowdsourcing your website design means you’ll likely receive suggestions you haven’t thought of as an administrator. Users and administrators come at the design from different perspectives.
- Ideas submitted for content will be things your audience wants to read or watch. Enough said.
For Best Results...
While you know your audience best, and not every association has members who are well-suited to crowdsourcing the design or content ideas, asking them to get involved in the brainstorming gives your association a new perspective and innovative ideas.
But you can’t just place a line in your newsletter asking what your members think and expect they’ll all shoot off answers. Ideas like this take time to generate so you need to approach them in multiple ways, with many prompts. You must actively approach them. Ask them for opinions on your site in conversation. Create an email where suggestions can be sent at any time. Present options with a this or that scenario and review your existing data.
If you’re reticent about approaching them and asking them to be a part of crowdsourcing your future design, you can use software like Crazy Egg to see a heat map of the most popular spots on your site. (If it’s too steep for your budget, they do offer a free trial). This information should be considered in your redesign.
Asking people who use your site is a great way to involve them. Seeing a suggestion come to fruition will be a source of pride for most members. Members want a tailored experience from their association and this is a very unique way to provide it.
Have you used crowdsourcing for anything at your association before? If so, I’d love to hear about it.