Plymouth Congregational Church
I was a member of the Plymouth Congregational Church Technology Committee. Our primary task was working on redesigning the church website. I did several sketches with pen and paper as well as some Balsamiq mockups to give the other committee members some idea of what was possible. The committee was active in fall of 2011 through fall 2013, at which point I left Minnesota, and the committee.
This is a screenshot of the original front page of the church website. In addition to problems that are visible like disorganization, out of date materials, and an abundance of text, the site is also hard to navigate. Some features that seem useful for navigation, like Plymouth A to Z, provide access to materials that are not available through other methods of browsing.
Most importantly, however for newcomers, worship times are hidden within the text on this main page and a link to directions is in the subtle menu on the left.
This mock was created in about 30 minutes to show the committee what we could do with our website. I referenced two websites that the senior minister had mentioned he liked, Glide Memorial Church and Temple Israel. One of the ideas this design sparked was that of a member portal, information accessible to members that wouldn't be accessible to non-members of the site.
(January 3, 2012)
At this point I decided to alter my initial design to support a slideshow centerpiece. This sketch was also more complete and was intended to give the committee a better representation of my ideas. My primary goal was to ensure consistency in format (e.g. having a calendar instead of listing events over the course of the whole page).
(January 3, 2012)
I quickly mocked my sketch into Balsamiq to show how the format could be adapted and how a member portal could be included.
(January 15, 2012)
At this point I wanted to focus more on two things. First, I wanted to make content management easier for both creators and readers. Second, I wanted to try and find a place for the social media feeds, something that we had discussed but was lacking in current prototypes. After I finished this sketch, I realized that this would most likely be the logged in view. The message to members will be about activities, events, and opportunities. The message to non-members should be focused much more on who Plymouth Congregational Church is as a congregation, when our services are and how to get here.
While the committee did not actually update the website while I was a part of it, a new website was published which followed many of the guidelines I had suggested. You can see the live site at www.plymouth.org.