secret shopping the sites #4: we can always get better

My next stop on my tour of college ministries’ web sites is a Chi Alpha ministry in the South!

Happy little slideshow. At this page, my eyes were immediately drawn to the slideshow ads at the top of the page. The setup itself was small (so it didn’t feel overwhelming), and it mixed in slides about specific ministry functions with ones about an upcoming message series and a couple of slides of the group or staff. I liked it.

Of course, I need to go somewhere. Sadly, every slide I clicked (4 or 5 of them) either took me back to the home page or to a non-existent page. Bummer.

You can always have better design. I realize that many college ministries don’t have the time, know-how, or money to make a “breathtaking” sort of web presence. But I’m reminded by this site that various elements can get better over time – whether we spend a little time, use resources and people (like our students) to help, or even invest in the creation of a solid page. A Comic Sans-ish font on your front page (and other good-ideas-that-aren’t-really) shouldn’t last forever, because you’re regularly taking a moment to get better.

Getting info from those who want to give it. For the first time in this little “secret shopping” experiment, I discovered a “connection form” for visitors. For those interested in sharing their info, the page has a spot for it. (In fact, I found myself wishing this form was even more prominent and obvious than it was.)

Old isn’t new. While this site prominently displayed its Events Calendar and its Instagram, the Calendar offered nothing and the last picture was a couple of months old. (In the case of the Calendar, there’s got to be a way to pause this or replace this with text during months without events. Remember, outsiders – like incoming freshmen – might not make the connection between summertime and a lag in your activities.)

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