Faith Formation, Diocese of Rockville Centre
In 2012 Matera & Co. was invited by the Diocese of Rockville Centre to build a new custom website for its Office of Faith Formation. The requirements were demanding. The new site had to handle the highly asymmetrical and multifaceted content and functions of nine different pastoral departments. All on a limited budget, and with a tight deadline.
We began our usual discovery process—in this case, an especially critical step. Unless we completely understood the workings and the audience needs of the nine departments, we could find ourselves going down design dead ends, losing valuable time and missing the deadline. We worked closely with the client, creating flowcharts and mock-ups, looking for the ideal visual structure and information architecture to meet their needs, that would work with the WordPress content management system we planned to use.
One step we are fanatical about in the discovery phase is identifying the best website models to emulate. Genuine creativity is almost always about synthesizing the best practices of the best practitioners in your field. There is no such thing as a “blank slate.” Using comparable website models not only informs the process, it is also the best way to get everyone on the same page. The client can cite specific examples of design elements, site functionality, and user experiences they want to adapt for their own website.
The new website is attractive and visually striking, and has endured for many years, because it efficiently manages and presents a wide range of information – thematic content, news, events, videos, pdf documents – within a clean and logical structure. In a time of information overload, that sort of visual clarity is the key to a great user experience.