When Transmodern Media took on the redesign of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology website, it was an unusual case. Most websites that badly needed redesigning were usually especially bad at offering great content or interacting with site visitors. Not so for the SPC site. It was already doing a great job involving its visitors, offering free access to Bible studies, podcasts on each Sunday’s readings, hundreds of links to scriptural resources, and many books authored by the Center’s scholars, especially the founder, Dr. Scott Hahn. The site’s problems were about aesthetics and functionality, weaknesses that hadn’t prevented the SPC from gathering thousands of registrants for its offerings, who together comprised a highly valuable email fundraising and outreach database for the organization.
The design and functionality task for Transmodern Media was familiar. We had to deliver an aesthetic that was both traditional yet contemporary, a synthesis of the ancient and the new. And, we had to create a content management structure that was flexible enough to handle many different types of content – courses and studies, events, articles, podcasts, link libraries, and a book store – but rigid enough to prevent content authors from disrupting the site’s layout and typography styling. Designer Simon Fung and Programmer Jim Beigel were able to deliver on both counts, coming up with attractive and cost-efficient solutions for the complex site.
That left one final, overarching task, which was to help SPC effectively exploit its underutilized email database to raise money and systematically communicate with its constituency. That program began in June, 2009, with excellent results so far.