It’s that time of month again when I have to put together another article for Christian Computing Magazine. As with my last two articles, I like to cite real-world case studies. In my upcoming article, I’m looking for church websites that were designed using some form of a formalized needs requirements and/or a deployment plan.
For example, one of my cases is going to be First Baptist Church of Frederick, MD (FBCF) – a site originally I critiqued last December because of a variety of usability issues. A few months later I was pleased to see they had a very different and very usable website.
When I spoke to the pastor and the web designer on the phone, I discovered that the website was a by-product of a desire to establish an intranet. Communications of their internal information online being an essential tool to meet their overall goal of becoming a more lay-driven church. Based on that goal, they opted to address their primary need (the intranet) by using Community Builder, a web-based church membership management database software that also has web-publishing capabilities.
So what I’m looking for is one or two more case studies where a church website is the product of a well-defined purpose. The website can be the end-goal, or it can be a secondary byproduct of another goal as was the case with FBCF. Point is, I want encourage and teach other church webservants to:
- Think about their needs before they select a web publishing tool;
- Precisely define the purpose of their online presence;
- Make their design decisions, and subsequently their mistakes, on paper first;
- Create a project plan for their development and deployment.
You can help if you’ve gone through two or more of the above steps; even if you’re just a one man show. Leave a comment … if you don’t feel like giving details, just say “contact me” in your comment and I’ll get to you. I’d like to get this all done in the next day or three, so don’t be shy! I’m not going to be critical, I just want some “for instances.”
Oh yeah, I’ve got IM working now. Let the reader understand.