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Every denomination needs one of these...

New UCC web site launched

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The United Church of Christ's new web site was launched the other day... and it's a mess. Check it out. Here are some of my quick thoughts:
  • The "Answer Guy", while visually appealing, has got to be the most ridiculous and intellectually insulting features I've seen on a web site in awhile. Who likes being talked to like a three year old? It reminds me of that annoying Microsoft Office animated paper clip "Clippy" that assumed everyone was too stupid to understand what a Word document was.
  • Navigation around the site is not as intuitive as it was with the old site. This could be just a matter of familiarity though. Regular visitors to the site will probably need some time to get used to it.
  • The design really gives a new user a quick context to what the UCC is about and this should be attractive to people new to the web site and the UCC
  • The new web site is much more visually appealing than the old site
  • The "Find a Church" feature has much more prominence now, as it should
  • The home page is less cluttered but, as a consequence, also has less content
I have my biases when it comes to web site design so I'm sure others will have a different opinion. I believe a web site should be a reflection of your mission. If you are a designer, photographer or graphic artist, your web site should first be visually appealing and reflect your talent. If you are an information resource, your site should be simple, easy to navigate and easy to search. UCCtruths.com is, intentionally, a very basic site that is heavy on text and links which makes it easier to indexed by the search engines.

Here's what the Blog World has to say about the new design...

From PeaceBang:
I say this with deep love and affection for my UCC brothers and sisters: the new UCC website is a travesty.

I don’t have time to dissect it now, but Hans the Answer Guy is my new favorite comedy character. When he makes finger guns and says, “Yeah, we heard you,” I fall off my chair every time.

How did this happen?
From the Rev. Scott Wells on his blog, Boy in the Bands:
The new UCC.org is just very, very wrong. Perhaps in time I can spell out the hundreds of reasons why. Or perhaps several people will get fired at General Synod and the whole thing will get nuked. Whatever.
“Hi! I’m Hans, the UCC Answer Guy!”

No grown man, even in Flash, should be so excited to say “main menu bar.” Good Lord: the links are “whimsical.”

Oh, and PeaceBang can we get a review of his wardrobe? Do shirts not button up in Cleveland?

After about thirty seconds of that, I went to the kitchen to get a drink.

“Hi! I’m Jim Beam and I’m going to help you get through the rest of the tour.”
Just in case anyone is wondering, yes... the shirts in Cleveland do button up.. so I don't have an explanation for Hans' wardrobe... Midlife crisis? I dunno.

Finally, from peregrinato:
Simply put, I don’t like the new website for the United Church of Christ–at least at first glance. [edit: second and third glances aren’t helping any.]

I really don’t care for the menu bar with its so self-consciously hip titles: The 411, Church Stuff (…can we be any more dismissive about who we are?), Big Things, etc.

I want the Church, not H&M. I can understand the need to step back from church jargon, but this is just trying too hard.

I can’t speak to its technological strengths or weaknesses. Someone like Scott (Boy in the Bands) is much better suited to handle that. I will say that at the moment, it takes too long for the sub-menu boxes to appear from the drop-down menu.

The old UCC website was fairly cluttered, but I could find the information I needed fairly quickly. We’ll see how I feel about this one.
So far, it looks like the site design isn't finding many believers.
posted by UCCtruths, Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Don't listen to us! We're just three snarky Unitarian Universalists and one snarky UCCer!

We love the UCC. We dig the UCC. We are all about thumbs-up to the UCC.

Just thought we'd say so.
commented by Blogger PeaceBang, 10:07 PM  

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