Catholic Community Services

4 comments | Posted: 9 August 06 in Featured, by Nathan Smith

URL: ccs-dc.org

Catholic Community Services is a nicely done site. It is simple yet attractive. What immediately struck me was the human-ness of the approach. It is not a typical business-driven look, with stock photography, but instead features genuine people with real problems…

Meet David Goodwin. Formerly homeless. Recovering from drug addiction. Working to manage a chronic mental illness. Outstanding volunteer. Mental health champion.

In that same spirit, the site also caters to accessibility needs. It has the typical links to skip to navigation and skip to content, but this is probably the first site I’ve seen that has a hidden back to top anchor link. As far as visual presentation goes, the site features muted, neutral colors, setting one at ease while browsing. It just feels soothing and inviting.

I am especially fond of the logo, which depicts the obligatory cross, yet also forms draped banners while hinting at the shape of a church steeple. Kudos to the designer, who manages to capture several elements of Christian worship without being too overt – no spinning crosses or animated doves (yuck).

In addition to the many touching stories and general content, there are also quite a few video presentations sprinkled throughout the site. These are made available in WMV format. While I probably would have opted for streaming Flash video, the choice to use Windows Media is not altogether bad. The majority of users will likely be using Windows, and by linking directly to the *.wmv file, it allows people to either click to watch it or download it for later.

In summary, this is a commendably solid site that sticks to the basics and keeps the message of redemption as a central theme. More Christian organizations could benefit from this type of attention to usability as opposed to re-inventing the wheel or trying to feature bells and whistles in abundance.

Discuss This Topic

  1. 1 Nate Klaiber

    I agree in your summary. This is a very solid site. The build is excellent, the content is there, and it is very easy to navigate and use.

    Props to the designers/developers!

     
  2. 2 Ryan

    Dude, the logo represents opening doors, not a steeple or draped banners. Hence the tagline, “Opening doors to help and hope.”

    Great site, though.

     
  3. 3 Nathan Smith

    Ryan: If they’re open doors, then why are they not aligned along what would be a door-frame? Have you ever seen doors hung unevenly like that? I haven’t.

     
  4. 4 are jay

    Great Site!

    I would be interested in knowing what cms software powers the site be it self made or off the shelf. Thanks

     

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