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Design Tips: Web Design, Part 1

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Have you ever designed a website and thought, "This just doesn't look right." Have you wondered why people don't stick around at your site long enough to even get your message? If so, then this is the start of the series for you.

We start by diving into attractive website design and why it matters. From there we move into tips to become a better designer, fonts, layout, design styles, and more. If you've wanted to have a clean look like digg.com, a user interface like flickr, or a site that's as readable as Apple's, come check out this series on design.

Before we dive into such a deep topic we look into a situation that plagues both open source and many ministries.

Great show as usual

When starting our church plant, we (the core) spent a lot of time discussing the importance of being an open community and actively looking for those who are different from ourselves. Closed circle churches only reach those they have already found and have determined they fit in. Jesus centered churches reach out to those who are lost and incorporate them into the body. That is one reason I like the topic of spiritual gifts so much. Not just because God gives us these gifts, but also because they are so different and require us to work together to be a fully functioning church body.
Now, on to design. I happen to be artistically challenged and yet responsible for all of our companies promotional/web design work. I found a resource, Before & After Magazine, that give some great newbie advice for design work in several forms of media. They take existing pieces of design and show how it isn't as effective as possible and then show how one can improve upon it.

-sirkyle

-sirkyle

Open community good, but hard

I applaud the effort at openness and diversity and think its good to pursue. Recognize though how important it is to keep working at it.

There is a natural tendency for church societies to become stratified with people that think, act, and look pretty much the same. Part of the reason is, even if you get existing members to welcome diversity in all its forms (pretty easy in concept - tougher in practice), that the visitors "most attracted" to your church will naturally end up being quite like the people already there (and that is difficult to prevent).

Keep up the work though... it's worth it, and does make a better church .... and world.

Mark

Mark

Colours!

Why oh why have you made me wait till next week to hear you talk about colour?!

I always get stuck on blue...

Great episode by the way. Thanks!

--
Andy Hoyland
andy@stjb.org.uk
http://www.stjb.org.uk

An application that helps

An application that helps with website colors that I use is called Color Schemer its available for both mac and windows.

Funny you should mention that...

Funny you should mention colorschemer, techmate. That's exactly what we recommend in next week's episode. Thanks for stealing our thunder :)

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.bobchristenson.com

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host
www.mustardseedmedia.com

Different Styles for Different Audiences

The marketing purpose of the web-site may be its most important function to a church... or maybe not, its not an debate I'm interested in pursuing at the moment.

But anyway... I think the page style and layout that best attracts the searcher is different from what best serves or connects the member or friend/recalcitrant member-to-be. What you're going to create is either going to be a compromise or someway of addressing them separately.

In the old physical world, a glossy promotional magazine is going to look a lot different from a newspaper and its good and useful that they are very different.

I'm really thinking you need different styling approaches applied to different areas of your web site or maybe just different websites (linked of course).

Mark

Mark