ST. PAUL, MN (June 24, 2010) – A beta version of a new Evangelical Covenant Church website currently under development is available for browsing and comment.
The new design seeks a more simple, uncluttered appearance that embraces a cohesive architecture, improved navigation pathways and robust search features, notes Don Meyer, executive minister of the Department of Communication.
“The site seeks to be user friendly, not provider driven,” Meyer says. The current website design is influenced more by organizational structure than the content itself, he observes. One of the goals is to provide a website that anticipates what users expect to find and deliver content in ways users prefer.
The new home page includes a billboard area where key events and activities can be featured, a section displaying the current Covenant Newswire news headlines, a new Covenant “visioning” area that will feature content addressing future directions of the denomination, including regular reports from President Gary Walter, and an expanded “Contact Us” segment.
Also included is a comprehensive site index, a new online donation link directing donors to an expanded list of donation possibilities, and a complete list at the bottom of the page of all departments, conference offices and affiliated institutions.
One important change is the way in which resources are organized and the search options that are available. Visitors will find three resource sections allowing searches by topic, type of resource, and general ministry theme. A more robust search window also is available based on an expanded key word tagging system.
Another improvement is the Find-A-Church feature that allows searches by city, state and zip code, including a complete alphabetical list of all cities in which Covenant churches are located, along with a new mapping tool that shows viewers churches in any geographical area of choice.
Also featured is a new translation tool that allows translation of content on any page into one of 52 languages. The translations are not intended to be completely accurate, but are close enough that someone of a different language can get a good sense of the general content, software developers state.
Feedback is important, Meyer notes. Visitors to the current Covenant home page will find a special feature button directing visitors to the new beta site, which includes a new home page with instructions for perusing the beta site and accessing, completing and returning the feedback form.
“The beta site is still under development, so not all links have been completed,” Meyer notes. “It is a work in progress.”
Plans call for the new website to be formally introduced later in the fall.