8169795864_3f6b3f20ed_b November 29

Salesforce Employees Partner with CTN to give back on World Usability Day!


by Kami Griffiths, Executive Director, Community Technology Network

We are pleased to be able to feature this blog by guest contributor Kami Griffiths, Executive Director of the Community Technology Network(CTN). CTN works to unite organizations and volunteers to transform lives through digital literacy.

Having a website that is aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate is a necessity in today’s digital world, but making that a reality can be a challenge for many nonprofit organizations. Due to lack of resources, many nonprofits don’t have the funds to engage web developers and graphic designers.  Nor can they afford web consultants and they usually end up tasking a staff person with website management. Also known as the “Accidental Techie,” these individuals may be willing, but not always able, to maintain the nonprofit’s website in a way that can truly benefit the organization or its clients.

So when the employees at salesforce.com expressed interest in hosting an event for World Usability Day, Community Technology Network (CTN) jumped at the chance to help make their vision a reality. As a small nonprofit we deeply understand the need and with our experience engaging skilled volunteers, we understand how uniting the two with a shared goal can have amazing results. On November 8, in partnership with Salesforce.com Foundation, over a dozen nonprofits spent the evening working one-on-one with salesforce.com employees discussing ways to improve how their websites look and function.

Participants like Soraya Okuda from the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation commented “Wonderful insight into where a user’s eye is drawn, and when they may encounter frustration with functions on our site.  It was wonderful to have the extended open mic session with user experience researchers and designers–having such a collaborative environment where people could jump into the discussion and provide a fresh opinion helped give a wider picture of the needs of the website.”

Iris Clyne from MOUSE Squad of California shared “I will start laying out a new structure. They gave me a list of priorities of where to start such as improving CTA buttons, our header and our nav system. Having a chance to talk directly with the experts in usability about our site and our needs is such an outstanding gift toward furthering our program!

Volunteers left with a feeling of accomplishment and nonprofits left with an understanding of how they can improve their online presence. But having an improvement plan is just one step, actually implementing the plan can be daunting. Knowing that many obstacles interfere with completing a web redesign project, salesforce.com encourages employees to continue their service work. An additional three hours will be given to each nonprofit to answer questions and provide guidance.

Salesforce.com has always had a commitment for service. Noël Kirmse, Customer Research Program Evangelist and event organizer, adds “Our company was founded on the belief that we need to listen to our customers as we develop products, a vision that our CEO Marc Benioff engrained in company values since day one. Salesforce.com is the world’s #1 innovative company and we wanted to bring that innovation energy to the nonprofit world. We’re thrilled to use our expertise in this area to give back to nonprofits, who are often strapped for website development resources.”

We are thrilled to embark on this partnership with Salesforce to leverage their talented employees and make an impact on nonprofits and the thousands of clients they serve! Contact us for more information about Community Technology Network.