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BRAND STYLE

BRAND ATTRIBUTES

COLOUR PALETTE

KEY WORDS

Community

Supportive

Useful

WHO IS THE END USER?

A new family or person in the local area, most likely already a practising Methodist, looking to join a nearby church and wishing to gather information before visiting.

An existing member, who will be encouraged to use the church website to access information relating to church activities and the life of the church.

THE MESSAGE

We propose tapping into one of the needs that your church is uniquely positioned to meet being located right in the heart of Solihul: the need for a sense of community.

 

Rationale - every day people in the local area are feeling alone and overwhelmed. Families are struggling to get by.  New parents are adapting to a new lifestyle with less free time for friends and leisure.  Empty-nesters are living in a quieter house for the first time in decades.  People crave community. Your church can continue to meet this need in a deeper and more engaging way.

 

The messaging and language that we propose adopting will serve this purpose - we will use everyday language, clear and simple phrases, using a tone of voice that is grounded allowing users to feel welcome and supported. 

The website will talk about the potential visitor and not about the church (and how awesome we are!) - instead the key is to direct the language and copy to talk about the potential visitor.  We will try to find an intersection between our church and any potential new visitor. 

The website will be more than a typical church website which is a glorified yellow page entry - it will be promoted as a useful central hub with an easily navigable structure allowing members to do a number of practical things that will ease the administrative burden of managing the church but also enable members to easily and quickly undertake certain tasks, stay up to date, share information and learn. 

 

By making the website useful, you will be in a position to deepen the engagement of members in the life of the church.

DESIGN DIRECTION

Church attendance is on the decline

We are living through the biggest communication shift in hundreds of years.  Every industry is being disrupted and our churches aren’t immune to these changes.  Church attendance everywhere is steadily declining – and has been for more than a decade.  Meanwhile, young people are leaving our churches at an alarming rate.

Rather than demanding people come to us, we will start going to them instead using modern technologies and platforms to reach them.  The younger generation are more receptive to digital innovation.  We see this website as the first stage of a multi-media strategy to deepen your reach not only with the younger generation but also with the broader community.

 

We propose a modern website experience which will be appealing to potential younger members whilst not alienating the existing members who are older and less tech savvy.  Well thought out navigation, cheerful friendly colours, a clean structure, with a fresh impactful design will solve the balancing act of appealing to a different set of users with varying preferences.  

Church is about community

 

So let's be proud of your church - okay the building is not the most physically beautiful 😊 but it is the people that count and you are at the heart of that community.

We propose the use of images and videos that show the warmth of your members engaging in every day tasks.  By showing the real life of the church we will encourage more members to join and more people to get involved.

Most church website are badly designed with clashing colours, overloaded with information, poor graphics and not truly functional

 

We will follow design principles limiting the colour palette and using only 2 fonts - one headline font and one complementary body text font.  By using plenty of negative space and a consistent design, we will develop a distinctive brand for SMC.  Colours will be cheerful, distinctive and modern (note - they match the royal blue used widely in the church and the logo red, as requested).  Given accessibility issues, fonts will be modern, large and easy to read.  We will also adopt colours with a high contrast ratio which will be suitable for members with visual problems but also feel fresh and young.  This look and feel will also allow the church website to stand out. 

 

As mobile has become so dominant, a separate mobile version of the site will be built to allow for an adapted and responsive mobile experience. 

Your website should be as useful as possible and take advantage of available technologies

As a central hub, the website will be allow users to do the following initially;

  1. sign up for ministries

  2. learn more about scriptures

  3. engage with other members

  4. find information on special services

  5. read the latest news about the church

  6. make donations

  7. reserve facilities

  8. listen to/read sermons on-line (longer term - watch sermons or full services)

  9. learn more about and sign up to events

  10. allow committee members to post news articles

  11. contact the vicar or other members of the committee

  12. view photos/videos/comments from recent events in a gallery

Understand your user

 

The website will be designed with the potential user in mind (and not necessarily what you or I like - a common mistake!).  Remember that we are addressing two types of potential users to the site - the potential new member and the existing member.  It is vital that the structure of the site reflects this.  In our study of existing church websites we noticed many failed to provide easily accessible new visitor information on their homepage.  Attending a new church for the first time can be uncomfortable and unfamiliar.  To make things easier, we propose dedicating a portion of the church's homepage (ideally a prominent portion) to acknowledging and welcoming potential new visitors. 

A good landing

 

When someone lands on the church’s site, they’re not there to hear about how awesome you are. They’re there to see what your church can offer them.  We will always strive to talk about them; and not to talk too much about ourselves.

 

The real estate at the top of the church website is very important (often most users will read the headline but not the body copy).  For this reason, we will use a clear impactful headline that does 2 things 1. confronts a problem 2. offers a solution.  It must not be overtly religious as that can be off putting. 

We also propose using story telling to put front and centre how real members benefitted from being part of the church - nothing beats story telling as a powerful method of communication.  We propose doing this with short video clips of 5 members of the church.  Each will be asked the same question in the same format - tell us 'how has SMC helped you or your family?'  This will present a compelling story to new members and also allow existing members to engage with the new website.

Our goal is that the website becomes a single destination for all things SMC. 

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