Dallas Theological Seminary

4 comments | Posted: 23 August 06 in Featured, by Nathan Smith

URL: dts.edu

While I was in Wilmore, Kentucky at Asbury Theological Seminary working as a student webmaster, was when I first started talking to John Dyer, who is a web developer at Dallas Theological Seminary. At the time, he was developing an alumni tracker using the Google Maps API, to show where their graduates had gone off to serve in various ministerial capacities. He showed it to me, and let me know that we could use it when he was finished. Fortunately, I wasn’t in KY very much longer, but I remember thinking at the time: “Wow, this Dallas seminary really gets it,” because they were way beyond Asbury’s site.

I am not sure when they launched the new version of their site, but I took notice of it recently when John posted a job opening on the Godbit forum for a savvy web standards ASP.NET developer with some design skills.

What I love about this site is that it feels fresh and crisp. It is very well thought through, including the way the site degrades gracefully in the absence of Flash or JavaScript. With those enabled, you get a cool animated interface on the main page and others sections such as About DTS. Without them, you are still greeted by a comparably well done page, looking nearly identical in the case of the index page. Their search functionality is also quite nice, keeping the branding well intact, and not leaving the site. Oh, I very much like that they are using technologies to reach people such as professorial podcasting.

For a time, we had audio recordings of our Asbury chapel services, but they were in the inferior Real Player format, and were streaming so you had to listen to them on the site. That’s so last century compared to being able to take an iPod on the road with you. I applaud DTS for sweating the details and making things like this a part of their site. Speaking of small details, I completely love the inverted tab look for the menus. This can be seen on the sub-sections of the site such as Become a Student. They also have a nice little breadcrumb trail of links, to let you know how deep into the site structure you have navigated.

Everything just feels so cohesive compared to other Christian school sites I’ve seen. Without having even been to DTS, you can automatically tell that it is a place that is committed to quality, since their website exudes it at every turn. In a way, it makes me feel nostalgic about the time I spent at seminary, but in another it makes me wish I’d gone to Dallas instead. Please do take the time to click around and check it out. I think you’ll find it to be a pleasant experience. John and the rest of the DTS crew have outdone themselves.

Discuss This Topic

  1. 1 Nate Klaiber

    Having worked on the Mount Vernon Nazarene University when I was in college, I would agree that DTS knows what they are doing! My experience in the web department at MVNU was not a great one, in fact, it was all static HTML and very tedious. No real connections with people, no easy way to navigate or find things. Their structure was way too deep.

    I think this site does an incredible job of connecting. The use of flash videos and javascript are a nice added touch. The site itself is aesthetically pleasing and makes good use of icons. Structurally, I think they covered their navigation very well (and sub options). Their search is simple, right where I would expect it – and their sub nav/bread crumb trail is a great indication of WHERE I am and how deep I am into their site.

    I applaud DTS and those who are working on the site, keep up the great work!

     
  2. 2 Scott Howard

    I agree, I love the site and the flash is really nice and crisp. Very modern tech look to it.

     
  3. 3 Chris Harrison

    I definitely agree with the assessment of this site. It is VERY clean, well-organized and nice on the eyes. I am impressed with how well the site was executed. Nice work.

     
  4. 4 John Dyer

    Thanks for your kind words. Our lead Designer is Tim Kimberley who also has an incredible ministry to teens at He Lives.com. I also wrote a post about the use of CrazyEgg.com heatmaps for design decisions that might be helpful.

    JD

     

Comments closed after 2 weeks.