Some projects dictate that you look at every detail. Are you building a house? You need to know where every light switch and electrical outlet will be. They may seem like trivial when figuring out the arrangements of the rooms, but it needs to happen. You may have a kitchen window that lets in the first rays of morning sunlight. Yet your toaster, blender, microwave, and mixer all share one outlet. Please realize that getting the big idea is the first step. Next is digging into the details that will make using your church website a truly pleasurable experience.
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The message your website gives has two components, the voice and the tone. The tone of your content will change depending on what is happening. However, the voice of your website is always the same. This singular direction guides all the text on your website. In contrast, different scenarios call for a unique tone. Your unified voice and empathetic tone reduces confusion and helps users feel at ease.
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When we think of mobile technology, our minds go to phones and tablets. Yet the wearable technology market is growing. How do devices such as watches and glasses impact how we use technology? More important, how will it impact how churchgoers consume content? The announcement of the Apple Watch has pushed these questions to the forefront of our minds. So what are you going to do today to prepare for tomorrow?
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Is your church trying to reach a particular demographic? I would surprised if you did not just think “yes, in fact we are trying to reach several”. There are several ways you can test how well your website is reaching those people groups. User interviews, surveys, and usability testing are just a few tools you can use. Yet, the major obstacle is not failing to use those tools. It is finding volunteers. Instead of always looking for volunteers, create partners for your digital ministries.
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When dealing with limited resources such as time and personnel, you need to work smarter as well as harder. One key to gaining this efficiency is to not duplicate work. By creating a digital asset once and reusing it, you not only gain speed, but also consistency. This article will discuss several areas of website creation where libraries can be utilized to greatly increase how quickly you conceptualize and create websites.
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To properly support your church, your website needs to support its high-level strategic goals. If you want to know where your church is going, you will need to ask your leadership. The best way to accomplish this is through stakeholder interviews. This will not only include your primary or lead pastor, but also your various ministry leaders. By gathering input from all areas, you can not only ensure your church is aligned on its long-range goals, but also that your website is crafted to most successfully support it.
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User Experience, and it is a growing field in the digital world. While many aspects of websites focus on the amazing technologies that support it, UX turns the lens back on the people using them. UX attempts to tie your church’s strategic goals to the people you are trying to reach. A practitioner attempts to not only make those connections work, but making them meaningful. This is the key reason why your church needs UX.
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The best way to understand how someone with a disability experiences your website is to step into their bodies for a few minutes. I wrote a few articles about tactical ways to create websites for more disability-friendly interfaces and features. Yet while major companies acknowledge that accessibility is a good thing, they often refuse to build in accessibility features due to budget and timeline constraints. The best way to convince someone of their error is to allow them to experience a disability for themselves first hand.
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Churches often have more contention with popular culture than other churches. Yet there is something to be gained from looking at other church websites for sources of inspiration and encouragement. Corporate America often conducts regular competitive analysis studies on their largest competitors’ websites, using it as both a benchmark and management’s encouragement to fund projects. This practice can be utilized by the church to help assess where their strengths and weaknesses lie, as well as aid in illustrating the need for future projects.
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People gravitate toward other people, it is just how we are wired. In a podcast I recently listened to, Susan Weinchenk talked about how to use natural physiological and psychological mechanisms to drive clicks and conversions on your website. I want to reiterate that these are not intended to trick people. We are merely using what we know about our brains to more easily engage with our website visitors. This article will cover three content types, and how you can make them more engaging by harnessing our natural instincts as humans.
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Although I encouraged you to apply common marketing techniques to your church’s website, there are many online marketing tactics you should avoid. There devious and deceptive methods meant to trick people into decisions they would most likely not choose outright. These are called dark patterns, and range from annoying to illegal. Churches and their websites must be open and transparent with their intentions if they are to be trusted, and them at all costs. This article aims to help your church in avoiding dark patterns.
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Do not be afraid to utilize older design themes and imagery from historical churches to resonate with today’s audiences. There is currently a design theme that utilizes vintage art themes to remind people of “better times”. We often reminisce of the good old days, and how that time was somehow better (despite not having today’s technology). Churches can utilize this to remind visitors of a simpler time and find a unique way to present their brand on the web.
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