We worked with the team at Palador to redesign the Bethany Community Church website. The church was 100 years old and growing rapidly, with 5 new neighborhood churches in recent years. With now thousands of members, and visitors coming to the site looking for multiple meeting locations—our site was outdated and those 5 new locations were feeling more and more isolated. Details were hard to find and information was difficult to sort through. The site redesign was just one effort to both distinguish and unite the church staff and separate congregations across our city, and to reflect a mantra of one church many locations.
As the in-house Creative Lead, my role was to be the client, but also the brand manager. I was the key advocate for ensuring the design system we created was carried across to all pages of the site as we built it out in-house. We chose a content management system that worked well for our needs—it was important to allow the teams at 6 different locations of the church to exercise some level of autonomy while also limiting some editing access to maintain a consistent, unified appearance. To help facilitate this, I set up a team in Slack (a new tool at the time) to coach a team of administrative coordinators to be comfortable updating the site on a regular basis.
Our user research focused on analytics from our own database of members, analytics from our web and stand-alone app, as well as a survey of the congregation and interviews.
The sitemap reflected our new organizational structure—creating pathways our users could navigate easily. We united some services centrally (like Giving and big-picture About Us content) while offering a design system and structure for the content on location-based subpages. This structure was a huge help as we allocated content ownership and sections of the site to administrative coordinators.