This spring we've had the privilege of designing a new website for the Oregon-Idaho Conference of The United Methodist Church. While the goal was simple — trying to bring the site into the 20th century, as Conference Communications Manager Kristen Caldwell says — we hoped to set the conference up with a website that would serve them for years to come.
"As the Oregon-Idaho Conference seeks to create a vision and mission statement, we needed a website that would allow us to boldly proclaim those values," Caldwell says. "While those values are still in the works, we have a website ready to go to display that vision when it’s ready."
Entering into the design process, Oregon-Idaho had looked at some of our recently designed sites (Florida, Mountain Sky, and Missouri conferences) and came away with both ideas and objectives for the new site:
- A clean, fresh design that would be easy to navigate
- Clean up of old, outdated pages and broken links
- A mobile-friendly design because 40% of Oregon-Idaho's users visit on a phone or tablet
- An easy-to-manage homepage and interior department pages
Through conversation with both Brick River and her volunteer web design team, Caldwell determined the interior page design needed the ability to shift based on its content. For example, the page for Annual Conference should look splashy while an administration page doesn't need a full-width header image. Additionally, we designed a department page layout, which Caldwell says is handy for district administrators who don't have time to manage a webpage. The layout is largely database driven but allows a small section for custom content.
"I love working with Brick River because the team is always willing to try something new," Caldwell says. "I could push, and Paul would go and explore things for me and come back and say, 'I think I’ve figured out how to do this, what do you think of …' or he would come back to me and say, 'I tried a bunch of different ways, but there isn’t a way to do that without really breaking the page.' It feels very much like a collaborative process. They were always very generous with their time – even with a three-hour time difference – and made space to not only meet with my communications team, but also met with our website creative team and our district administrators, who all wanted to have a bit of input on this site."
Caldwell says she believes the newly designed site will allow the Oregon-Idaho Conference to continue evolving its design and content as the Conference changes with the times.