Is it just me, or is there a correlation between flimsy theology and flaky web design?
Seriously, having reviewed hundreds of sites after sifting through thousands since May of 2002, I have to believe there is some linkage between bad theology and worse web designs.
Case in point, “Bible Truths” which among its barrage of kitschy animated gifs and cheesy graphics, this site erroneously preaches:
- Water baptism as a ‘man’-datory requirement of salvation
- That Seventh Day Adventism is a cult
- That man has no sin nature
Fortunately, here’s one case where webmaster Don Martin (no, not THAT Don Martin)Â obfuscates the site’s not-so-compelling content by rendering plain text with the same color as the hyperlinks (usually not a good idea, but in this case I’ll make an exception).
Had the latter not be underlined, I may have never come up with 5 things we can learn from this FrontPage induced visual assault:
- Just as tricks are for kids, so too are animated gifs are for silly rabbits.
- If you have to say “click on the door to enter …” on the graphic link into the website’s site map, then it means the whole point of a picture saying 1000 words is lost here.
- Don’t use the evil marquee tag to tell people how to navigate back to the page their currently on. It distracts while potentially causing the user to ‘use your “Back”‘ button at the wrong time.
- Why hide the light of your site search engine under a basket? Make it VERy conspicious on EVERY page.
- Using images for page, sermon, lesson and other titles instead of text to represent text means said information is hidden from Google and Yahoo.
Of course none of this matters without a theological make-over. But let’s say by some miracle it happens, then I’d also recommend the webmaster consider the following tools to better organize, maintain, and serve up said content:
- drupal – especially leveraging add-ons for books and lessons
- moodle – an open source application created to manage coursework
- mediaWiki – a great tool for enumerating encyclopedic information
So whatta you think? Leave a comment, in love!
UPDATE 10Jul08Â – after you’re done here, check out the follow-up article entitled ‘Follow-up: bad church web design inspired by bad theology.’ It might clarify some concerns or questions you have – or it just might make ya all the madder !-)