Queensway Cathedral

4 comments | Posted: 5 February 07 in Featured, by Nathan Smith

URL: queenswaycathedral.com

I found this site while snooping around the links at 31three.com, the personal and professional site of Jesse Bennett-Chamberlain. He is probably best known for his work on the design of The City Church site, which has been featured here at Godbit, CSS Beauty, and numerous other design galleries. I even saw it ripped off by an ad agency and sadly, even another church (screenshots).

Anyway, this write-up isn’t about that site. It’s about Queensway Cathedral, a church in Toronto, Ontario. I saw it listed in the portfolio of Drew Warkentin as one of the sites he had done some ExpressionEngine work on, in conjunction with Jesse. Being that Drew recently redesigned his site and the link is no longer there, I’m glad I spotted the it when I did.

Chronologically, I believe this site went up awhile ago but I think it’s still worth mentioning here. I love the use of subtle neutral beige tones, in conjunction with the rich blueish purple hues. The color scheme is fitting of the regally titled cathedral which it represents. The tasteful use of blended photography lends a soothing feel throughout the site.

I also like how the site’s Information Architecture is laid out. Rather than resorting to the cliché of inaccessible drop-down menus that were a hallmark of 1990’s websites, it features primary horizontal navigation with a two-tiered side menu where applicable. This can be seen in action in the ministries section.

The were only a few things that could have improved upon. One would be cleaner URLs, removing index.php from the addresses, thus making them easier to remember and better for SEO. There are also multiple instances of a few id attributes in the navigation. This cased a few validation errors, but the site is still under our 10 error limit to be featured here.

Additionally, some images on the media page also have hard white edges around them, rather than anti-aliasing to the beige background. I won’t fault them for that though, as things like those tend to creep into a site’s design after it has been handed off to a managing webmaster. Those graphical snafus seem to be caused by the streaming media provider, Streaming River.

Nit-picking aside, this is a nicely done site with superb attention to detail. I commend Drew and Jesse for consistently coming up with solid, quality work. I look forward to seeing what they come up with in the future.

Discuss This Topic

  1. 1 Brent O'Connor

    Looks really nice and clean.

     
  2. 2 Carl Camera

    This site seems unique in using a map and directions page as home page. The design is excellent no doubt. I find fault with the calendar drop-down that shows fewer events when I choose “All Events” than when I started. And what’s with the blank lines and ascii-art in that drop-down?

    My biggest concern, however, is what is not shown. The home page, with the exception of one milquetoast sentence, is tacit on who these folks are and what they believe. Looking into About Us doesn’t expand or clarify — all we get is a story about someone on a couch with a vision.

    I contend that a nondenominational church must be explicit about its beliefs and groundings in order to build and maintain credibility. Even the most seeker-focused churches take great pains to lay out their beliefs. Take a look at Saddleback or Willow Creek websites. Pages of explanations are devoted to relationship, salvation, baptism, etc.

    This site’s evangelistic approach seems to be “find a ministry that would be a blessing to you and your family” [...and join us.] Something seems missing.

     
  3. 3 Nathan Smith

    Carl: You bring up some good points. While they do have the Alpha program, an introduction to Christianity, their site does not really flesh out their doctrine or have a statement of beliefs. It would have been a definite improvement.

     
  4. 4 Chris Huff

    As far as the design goes, it’s very nice. I personally wouldn’t have made the people in the header blue, but that’s subjective anyway. Everything else looks great.

     

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