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What's the new "Volunteer View"?
Posted by Gabrielle Long on 22 December 2017 05:26 AM

Are you ready to give your volunteers a better experience?

Volunteer View gives your volunteers an updated, streamlined interface (what they see) completely separate from the administrative view (what you see). You can enable this new version anytime for free as long as your organization has a current Plus, Pro or Enterprise subscription. If you're interested in enabling Volunteer View in your site but are not sure if your account is up-to-date, please send a message to Support.

Learn more below, or watch this recent webinar for an in-depth walkthrough of the Volunteer View and how to activate it.

What's in this article?

What is Volunteer View and why should I activate it?

The Volunteer View gives your volunteers a modern, mobile-friendly experience when browsing and signing up for opportunities. The new Volunteer View button at the top of your site allows you to preview that volunteer interface. This button is available only to Superusers and does not affect what your volunteers see.

You can enjoy all of the following benefits in the new Volunteer View:

  • Increased Information Security: Volunteer View fully encrypts your site and its information, making every page an https page (vs. http as with the older version).
  • Mobile-Friendly Site: VolunteerHub is now 100% mobile-friendly for your volunteers! The page layout changes based on the device you use, allowing you to engage volunteers on the go.
  • Faster Event Registration: Volunteers with completed profiles will now enjoy one-click registration and a streamlined process when signing up for waitlists and group events. In addition, volunteers can return to their place in the schedule immediately after signing up for an event.
  • Faster Account Creation: Volunteers can now click Create Account right from the schedule without going to the Sign In page first. Users who are not yet logged in can also click the Sign Up button beside an event to jump straight to the Sign In page.
  • Account Menu: Users can update and view specific information within their accounts just by clicking on an option within their account in the upper-right corner.
  • "My Schedule" Page: Volunteers can view their schedules of upcoming registered events on a separate page from other upcoming opportunities.
  • "My Hours" Page: Volunteers can run reports for their own hours and even report the number of hours worked on remote activities.
  • Incremental Event Loading: More opportunities populate the page as your volunteer scrolls down, which means faster load times for any landing page!
  • More Intuitive Design: Links, buttons and information throughout the site are now much easier to find and use, requiring no special instructions for volunteers in the landing page messages.
  • Administrative Quick-View: You can always click the Volunteer View button to see what your site looks like to volunteers, without having to sign out. Then click the Admin link to return to the administrative view.
  • Social Media Integration: Share your organization's social media sites at the top of your VolunteerHub site, and volunteers can quickly share events and registrations with friends on Facebook and Twitter in one click.
  • New Feature Access: Some add-on features can be purchased only for sites in Volunteer View, such as Volunteer Fundraising and Volunteer Recognition. In addition, new/updated volunteer-facing functionality will only be launched to users in Volunteer View going forward, so don't miss out on the latest features for your volunteers!
  • Enhanced Search: Volunteers can now search for events by event name AND location!

How do I customize the look and feel?

The Volunteer View is customized much the same way as the original VolunteerHub interface. Navigate to the Setup tab > Landing Pages sub-tab and click the Edit button beside your default landing page. There, you can easily upload a Logo Graphic, which will appear in the upper-left corner of the page and your emails, as well as a Banner Graphic, which spans the top portion of your site as a background picture (see Figures 1 and 2 below). If you don't have a Banner Graphic, the site will use your selected Primary Color as the backdrop for your Schedule Message.

The Title fields do not apply to Volunteer View and will be removed once you enable Volunteer View.


Figure 1. Upload a Logo Graphic and Banner Graphic to brand your site and customize the user experience.

Figure 2. The Logo and Banner Graphics will appear at the top of your site in the new Volunteer View.

In addition, you can still update the color scheme just as you always have using the Primary and Secondary Color fields. By default, the Volunteer View will already inherit this color scheme. The Primary Color determines the color of the header backgrounds and wizard step names, while the Secondary Color determines the colors of links and buttons throughout the site. 

You can learn more about updating your site's look and feel in Section 2 of the Getting Started Guide.

How do I enable the new Volunteer View in my site?

The new VolunteerView is available at no extra charge in any current Plus, Pro or Enterprise site. Just follow the instructions below to get started!

Step 1: Upload a logo and banner graphic in your default landing page (and any pages where Look & Feel is overridden). This will not affect what your volunteers currently see, but you can click the Volunteer View button to see your site as a volunteer would see it in the new interface.

Step 2: Ensure your landing page messages make sense for the Volunteer View, as the locations of the messages and elements they may have referenced on their corresponding pages have changed. For instance, the Register button is now the Create Account link and is no longer always below the Sign In Message. Due to the responsive nature of Volunteer View's layout, a button may be on the right when viewing on a computer, but that same button may be below the message on a mobile device! Try to avoid telling volunteers where things are on the page. In addtion, don't forget to remove the landing page links/buttons from your Schedule Message, as they will only hinder user experience in this latest version and have been replaced with an out-of-the-box filter (see Step 3 below).

Step 3: Create event filters for your volunteers. In the Edit page of each event group in your site, check the Event Group Schedule View box if you want that event group to be a volunteer-facing filter in the volunteer interface. When checked, this option will add the event group as a filter in the drop-down menu above your schedule of events. Only check the box for main-level groups so you don't overwhelm your volunteers.

Step 4: Once you're happy with the site's look and feel, publish it for your volunteers by navigating to the Setup tab > Apps sub-tab and clicking the Volunteer View button (Figure 3), then click Activate Volunteer View. If you do not see that option, please contact sales@volunteerhub.com.

Once you publish your new Volunteer View, your site will automatically convert to the new volunteer interface; the site will retain the old look and feel for administrators with the exception that the Schedule Message and color scheme will not be visible. 


Figure 3. Activate the Volunteer View from the Apps page.

Please note that once you've activated Volunteer View, you will not be able to revert your site back to the old view. 

Do you have any design tips for the Volunteer View?

Sure! Before you publish to the new Volunteer View, consider the following design tips to ensure a positive volunteer experience and higher acceptance rate for the change:

  • Tweak your messages immediately before going live. We highly recommend enabling the new Volunteer View during a period of low site traffic, which will allow you time to tweak the Schedule, Sign In, New User and Join Code messages in your site before volunteers see it. Your old messages may need to be made larger or shortened in the new interface. Research shows that site users do not read beyond 3 paragraphs; therefore, we recommend keeping your messages to no more than three paragraphs. If you need to include more information than 3 paragraphs will allow, add a hyperlink to a web page or document containing that information instead. 
  • Use a horizontal logo. For best results, follow the dimension requirements on the page beside the upload button.
  • Choose the right banner image. Be sure your banner image follows the recommendations outlined below the field, and make sure there's no text in it (this area will be covered by your schedule message)! Remember, the banner scales with your site based on the size of the device/browser, so while text might look good on one device, it may be completely hidden on another. Just choose a background picture that will compliment your site's design; the banner is NOT the focal point of your site.
  • Use larger fonts with fewer colors. We recommend using larger font sizes in event descriptions, user form prompts/subprompts and landing page messages for consistency with the site design. Most of these text areas should convert to a larger font size automatically, unless you've changed the font sizes manually. We also recommend keeping font colors to a maximum of 2 or 3 within any text area. 
  • Replace buttons with event groups. If you included buttons in your Schedule Message(s), we highly recommend removing them and using the filter drop-down instead (instructions in Step 3 above). We DO NOT recommend making ALL event groups visible, however - just the main categories (for instance, a Habitat may show four or five groups, including Construction, Office Opportunities, ReStore, etc., but not every build). (IMPORTANT: If your site was previously configured to show no events on the default landing page, you will need to change this. The event groups that volunteers may select in the "All Events" drop-down above the schedule are limited to the event groups available on that particular landing page.)
  • Avoid light primary or secondary color. For optimal results, follow WCAG standards and choose colors that are dark enough to read as text on a white background.
  • Announce the change. We also suggest announcing the change in your Schedule Message for volunteers. The new Volunteer View incorporates intuitive design, so volunteers shouldn't have trouble finding anything! 
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