Riccardo Bianco is an electronics technician: he's an entrepreneur working in the metal surface treatment sector. He successfully and happily fills the role of webmaster and graphic designer for Neo-n, the non-profit organization for at-risk newborns in Novara, he joined when his son was born prematurely.
Riccardo took on the non-profit's website project in 2011, and immediately decided to re-make it using WebSite X5, a software he had discovered for free through a friend, and whose ease-of-use won him over.
Just last year, he told us that the website had helped the organization grow and achieve major goals. He also explained us that he intended to totally overhaul the site's look soon. Today, Riccardo is proud to show us the amazing results: Neo-n's new logo and new website
Riccardo, we know you often don't have much time to create the website. What inspired you to completely re-style it?
"Yes, you're right: unfortunately I can't spend as much time on it as I'd like. As a result, until now I'd been limited to doing routine updates: I added news, updated projects, and wrote our newest stories, but I didn't touch the page structure or design. At a certain point, however, I realized that something just didn't work anymore.
- Because I'd added so much, the site had a ton of pages: lots of content, but it lacked in organization. How did people find what they were looking for?
- A lot has changed since 2011: trends change too. Compared to what I saw online, our pages seemed a little too basic and old fashioned.
- First of all, everybody browses the web on their smartphones now. Our website wasn't optimized for mobile browsing, this was a big problem.
These 3 issues convinced me to finally restyle the site and - I can already say - I'm glad I did!"
So structure, design, and responsive features were the 3 reasons that made you restyle your website. Let's go through them one at a time: how did you resolve the site's structural and navigation issues?
"I started by analyzing what I had: I reviewed all the content I had published over time, and with the help of Google Analytics, I tried to understand which pages worked best, which ones received the most traffic. This allowed me to understand what I needed to keep, and what I could get rid of.
As a non-profit organization, of course, there is some content I can't do without: the mission, statutes, and financial information may not be visited often, but they are crucial for ensuring transparent communication. After all, transparency forms the basis for trust, and for a npo, people's trust is essential.
Once I'd put together all my content, I tried to organize it into categories, and finally I realized that a one-page structure was best suited for my website. I put together all the important information into a single page: this is where readers immediately find everything they want to know, as well as links to pages that explain individual activities in detail.
I was able to combine everything here: the organization's introduction, the more institutional aspects, the blog with news and events, the reserved area, fundraising tools, contact info, and social media. In the end, I'm convinced that our users now have a much more better and rewarding experience: they can find the information they're looking for, how to contact us if they need to, and how to support us if they believe in our mission."
As far as the design, you decided to start with a Template: can you explain your decision?
"That's easy: I'm not a professional graphic designer and I didn't have a lot of time. On the other hand, I know what I like. I visited WebSite X5's Marketplace and I methodically browsed through all the Templates. I tried to consider not only what I liked, but more generally, what could work for those who follow us and especially for the kind of topics we address.
I found the GoodBoy Fundraising Template and it looked perfect: a lightweight, clear design that used bright, high-contrast colors. I liked the use of icons and large images arranged symmetrically: I think order and symmetry are important because they guide the reader's attention towards the right part of the page. Finally, I liked the large font: it's easier and makes video streaming smoother.
The Template provided the perfect launching pad, but that doesn't mean I didn't work on it. Luckily, WebSite X5 lets you customize basically everything: I replaced the images, added my content, and adjusted the structure. In other words, I made it mine - something unique and original!"
3rd point: mobile browsing.
"Absolutely, because like I said, now everybody browses the web on the go, using smartphones, and we don't like pages that are too slow to load, or text that's too small and images that don't fit.
I wanted a site that always looked perfect, whether it was viewed on a desktop or smartphone.
The Template that I used was already responsive: that means the breakpoints were already configured and it takes care of a lot of behaviors. I focused on the content. I checked how all the different resolutions were displayed, and I made sure that as the screens got smaller, the less important content was hidden.
In the end, I think I succeeded: Neo-n's website is truly modern now."
You didn't just overhaul the website, you also re-designed the organization's logo: do you think you got carried away?
"No, I don't think I got carried away. There should be consistency between a website and logo, they both work together to create the organization's image: it wouldn't have made sense to keep the logo the same when website's lines and colors had changed so radically.
However, the new logo does maintain all the elements and meanings of the earlier one: a hand, a baby with a cap and socks, a heart. These elements convey Neo-n's mission and work: supporting and lovingly helping the development of babies born prematurely or with medical problems.
The yellow you now see in the logo and the website represents light, heat, and the energy we all dedicate to this mission."
A month has passed since the new site has been launched, what's your assessment?
"My assessment is totally positive. First of all, I've gotten feedback from friends and supporters: so many of them told me that they love the new site because it's trendy, complete, and it's easier to find information.
Personally, I'm also happy because I achieved big results in a short time. I won't deny that tackling such a huge restyling project scared me a little, because it seemed like so much work. Luckily, I found a worthy ally in WebSite X5: by using the GoodBoy Fundraising Template, I hit the ground running and I used the software tools to proceed quickly. A few great tips from the community and the support service helped me do everything I had planned to do.
Now I'm satisfied and proud to show everyone what I was able to accomplish. Of course, I won't stop here: I already have a few new ideas in mind."
In conclusion, what advice would you give to someone whose website is now a little "retro" and is considering the possibility of restyling?
"Don't underestimate the importance of having an up-to-date website: it's not just about design, but especially about effectiveness and compatibility. If you introduce yourself using an old website that's not responsive, what will they think of you? How much trust will they really place in you? Regardless of whether it's a company website, a personal site, or an online store: if you made a website, it's because you want to share something or have people interested in what your offer. Whatever the case may be, you need to look credible.
I was scared to embark on a huge project too, but in the end I realized that the key was to plan everything in order to know what to do and especially what tools to use. With WebSite X5, even restyling a site like ours ended up being totally doable. Comparing costs and benefits, I can say it was absolutely worth the effort.
If I did it, you can surely do it too."