For those of you reading this site via an aggregator, you might want to visit the visual example I’m providing my graphic-enabled browser equipped friends. It is a picture of a house in my neighborhood that goes a bit hog-wild when it comes to holiday decorations. And we’re not just talking Christmas, as you can see from an article I penned this past Easter entitled “Just Because You Can, Part 3.”
The point is, even though we’ve made great strides in creating a more usable and accessible Church online, there are still thousands of church and charity websites that offer the online equivalent of these over zealous neighbors. That is, they get so caught up in how things look that the message tends to get lost.
For example, check out the 60kb picture in all it’s glory, I’ll wait … Did you see the manger? It’s there, it’s just impossible to see among the four large inflatable snowmen, Santa Claus and Snoopy on his Dog house, candy canes, snowflakes hanging from trees and enough lights to illuminate all of Elizabeth City, New Jersey.
So it is with church websites that feel the need to include spinning animated crosses, splash pages, flash-based splash pages, flash-based navigation, animated marquees, page swipes, dhtml snowflakes drifting down the screen, pop-ups, pop-unders, cursed cursor trailers, disabled right-click, everything centered in eight bright colors using ten different fonts, all in bold.
Don’t do this. Yes they effects are all cool … for about the first five seconds, after that, they tend to drive your users away.
“Never have Christians tried to be so relevant. But never have Christians ended up so irrelevant. How can this be?” – Os Guinness, “Prophetic Untimeliness: A Challenge to the Idol of Relevance”
So with that in mind, let us resolve this next year to heal our church and charity websites of these encumberances as we keep our eyes on the prize …
… and with that, I want to wish all of you a very happy new year. 2003 has been great, in no small part because of the many of you who have participated in this little project. Thank you, and God Bless!