On Catholic Design

Remember the Total Consecration App I was promoting a while ago? The gentleman who designed that, Matthew Sich, is the man, and he has some words of wisdom for the online Catholic community:

It’s difficult to capture the essence of what I do with the few words afforded to a standard job title. After toying around for a while with a few variations, I usually settle with “web and iOS developer, and web and iOS designer,” but I always attempt to emphasize that I am a designer first and foremost because I believe this aspect is paramount. A person who has the ability to create a good message or develop a product but lacks good design will invariably run into trouble because one cannot reach the full potential of a message or product without it.

I raise this point because I believe Catholic media is very disappointing in modern society. I do not wish to say that the message is disappointing (not at all! The message is usually quite astounding) but that the way the message is presented is depressing. Modern Catholic media has absolutely no appreciation for design! …and yet they appear to be at a loss when trying to understand why their message has not been effective.

I believe the design is the most important part of modern media. If the design is not good then the message is worthless. Why? Because the first impression someone has of a website or an app or virtually any media is the design! A user passes judgment on a product (or whatever the media is) in the first few seconds of its presentation! The message could be great but if the design is not up to par, a user will always end up choosing the media with better design – but maybe not the greatest message. Simply look at Apple as an example. Why are they currently outselling Windows? Most end users don’t know many computer technical details: they’re interested in their ideas coming to life on the screen… and so many people are attracted to simplicity and aesthetics—the mark of Apple products.

I was lucky because I started with design. At age thirteen, I learned Photoshop by watching my brother design stunning illustrations and then moved on to motion design and visual effects a few years later. Perhaps because of this I’m a bit biased in believing design to be more important than the development or message: after all, great painting skills do not make one a great artist.  It is not lost on me that fantastic ideas may be stifled by a lack of skills in projecting those ideas. Nonetheless, good development fails without good design. We as Catholics should strive toward greater design in our message. We cannot be mediocre and hope people ignore the unflattering stage on which our message is set. If you want to become a better designer, don’t be lazy! Go look at the work of other designers! You will never become a good designer by simply knowing what buttons to press in Photoshop or by following online tutorials. You actually have to go out and analyze media and keep up with the latest trends. Never use the excuse that you are not capable or that time will not permit it! I have not learned all these things that I do now by following formal classes, I simply learned by trial and error. If you don’t have the time to learn, then don’t waist it by creating the message or product in question. All it takes in the motivation to strive for greatness in your design and not to simply settle for “good enough.”

There is no limit to design! I believe creators of Catholic media should strive to become greater designers because the design complements the message and, in turn, the message complements the design. The reason I started developing apps was to fill the design void in Catholic apps currently present on the app store. I hope that other creators of Catholic media realize the need for better design and attempt to implement it. I also hope that users of Catholic media begin to demand for better design form the creators of Catholic media. Again, never settle for mediocrity.

Matthew Sich grew up in Ukraine where he learned to speak Ukrainian as his first language. He began working with computers at the age of thirteen by first learning photoshop, then moving on to motion design and visual effects as a moderator at Videocopilot.net. Soon after he developed an interest in web development which eventually led to the development of iOS apps. Now 18, he works as a professional web designer and developer and iOS developer and UI designer while double majoring in computer science and communication arts at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Bloggers, take a look at your sites and ask yourself, “Does this look like a brilliant and passionate but technologically stupid, and graphically-illiterate Catholic made this?” Chances are, it does. Correct said suckage and let Holy Mother Church be exalted through the power of good web design. Mr. Sich, by the way, is working on a project for me, a project a million times larger in scope than BadCatholic, incredibly more involved, and 20 times more offensive. But it’s still a secret until, I hope, March 26th. Then the world will explode. Let this be the first clue.

  • Fisherman

    And this is why I attend art school. And love Jesus.

  • Anonymous

    March 26, hmm? The day you’ll renew your Total Consecration? That’s a pretty auspicious day!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Leiberg/1062003564 David Leiberg

    Great post, with which I couldn’t agree more. I am an artist who is Catholic

    • Anonymous

      Man you’re good! Shoot me an email sometime, let’s talk.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Leiberg/1062003564 David Leiberg

        Thanks so much for taking a look! Very much appreciated. Will definitely send you an email at some point. Thanks again.

  • Joe Gehret

    I think I know…

  • –j–

    I was waiting for the perfect post to suggest this banner redesign I’ve done for you out of fealty and admiration. This seems to be that post:

    • jamie

      Put “Catholic” in Papyrus, and you’ll be good to go! ;)

      • http://twitter.com/Matt_Sich Matt Sich

        and a default lens flare! hahahahahaha

      • –j–
        • http://scrutinies.net/ Dorian Speed

          Better, but I like to see some activity in a header. Could the dinosaur be…stay with me…reading from today’s Mass readings? So it’s constantly updating?

        • jamie

          Perfect! The fake lens flare is a beautiful touch, as well!!

      • Anonymous

        In my top-5 favorite tumblrs: Papyrus Everywhere

        Also Try Helvitica

        • Maria Wendt

          You guys are SO awesome! I love the banner with the comic sans font!! and the default lens flare! You should have me laughing. Love you guys!

  • http://www.thinveil.net Brandon Vogt

    March 26 can’t come soon enough! From your clues it’s clear that then, on the Feast Day of Saint Margaret Clitherow–the “the Pearl of York”–you’ll be unveiling TheClitherevolution.com.

    Count me in.

  • tinemarie

    Awesome! My husband is a graphic designer, and one of our biggest beefs is that a lot of what has great Catholic content, often has less-than-desireable design. This goes from websites to paper plates for 1st Communion parties to illustrations. Some of it is improving, but we need to go a whole lot further to support our beautiful truths with design worthy of the message.

  • Jamison

    Ya know this is something I noticed a lot when I moved over from the Evangelical world. A lot of the Evangelical media and marketing engine is really, really good at design and marketing. A perfect example is http://www.esv.org/ the home page for the ESV bible. Great design of both the site and the product. I know it seems trite and cheesy, but a thinline Bible with TruTone binding and design really is attractive and appealing. When shopping for a Bible I’d love to see an NAB-RE with design like that.

    I know things are slowly getting better, but I look forward to the day when I walk in to my Catholic bookstore and all the kid books DON’T have artwork that looks like it came from 1940.

    • http://twitter.com/LitaLedesma Lita Ledesma

      That’s a nice looking site! Sophisticated and understated.

  • Darryl Millette

    Great post (as usual, Marc)! One thing that would be really helpful, as David mentioned, is a way to have honest critique of what we’re doing. Do my attempts at web design work? Do they look straight out of 1999? I typically use basic WordPress templates which look ok (I think), but are they the best I could do? For those of us with less-developed artistic tastes, I think that sort of specific feedback is really important. :-)

    Any ideas?

    • http://twitter.com/Matt_Sich Matt Sich

      Downloading and installing wordpress themes is not web design. The reason why many websites look bad is because a person uses a pre-made theme and in doing so gives up any personal creativity or control. Because those themes are not made for your specific needs, they usually end up getting in the way of your message. I’m not saying using pre-made themes is bad. Using them saves a lot of time but you should know how to manipulate them to suit your needs which means knowing how they work down to the code (which is often portrayed as something very hard to do).
      As per the design – again, if you use a pre-made template that has a set color scheme, your custom header may not always fit in. In fact, header images can usually cause the “1999″ look you mentioned if not used properly. Look at most high end websites… they don’t use header images. In fact, that’s what you need to do to get a better ease of design: Go analyze good web design… but designing a website is worthless if you don’t know how to build it. That’s why I always say that design and development come hand-in-hand. You cannot reach the full potential of one without the other.

      • Anonymous

        Great stuff, Matt. I fully agree! Sadly, since being ordained I haven’t had a lot of time to do coding; hence the use of templates. (Well, that and the fact that I’m not exactly the most artistically-inclined guy in the world. :))

        I’ve been playing around with the Suffusion theme lately. (shameless plug: http://www.saskapriest.com). It seems pretty flexible. I’m not totally sure I like the way it lays out text on the header image. As someone above mentioned, perhaps I should try more Papyrus? Or Comic Sans?

        (Kidding!!)

        Thanks again, everyone. This has been an enlightening discussion!

        Fr. Darryl (My post above went from a different account for some reason)

        • http://twitter.com/Matt_Sich Matt Sich

          That’s why we need more Catholic people developing and designing this stuff so that they can help you =) I would offer to help but I already have too many website jobs lined up + school + app development + a real job… unfortunately there are not enough hours in a day haha

  • Jay E.

    Very well said; I’ve done a bit of work in web design and visual arts, and so I can relate to many of his complaints. Whatever this big surprise is – count me in, or at least as a supporter.

    Incidentally, I’m renewing my consecration starting today… too bad I can’t afford an iPhone.

  • Keithstrohm

    Great post. We just redesigned our parish website, and while there are still some missing links and a few pages that lead to surprising places…I think we did ok. You can check it out at http://www.qotr.org

    • http://twitter.com/Matt_Sich Matt Sich

      looking very nice! I usually don’t like dark designs but you made it work pretty well =)

      • Keithstrohm

        Matt,

        Thanks! Our designre had fun playing with the layout…it was creative expression for him as well. :)

    • http://scrutinies.net/ Dorian Speed

      Very, very slick design, Keith! It doesn’t look like a parish website, and somehow I mean that as a compliment.

      • Keithstrohm

        Dorian,

        Thank you so much!!! We worked very hard at it. We had a great partner in Sheepish Design. I have a background in marketing, so I put it to good use! Totally understand the not-like-a-parish website comment! :)

    • Pennylane26

      I love it!! I hope more people update their Catholic media!! :D

    • Tally Marx

      Better than my parish’s website.

    • Tiber 2012

      Wonderful website! That’s what I like to see! I come from an Evangelical church that had great media and your parish’s website is the first Catholic website I’ve seen that rivals it. Funny thing is that your parish’s set seems to follow the format of the typical Evangelical site. It’s a good thing.

      • http://www.qotr.org/ Keith Strohm

        Thanks for the kind words. When we set out to redesign our site, we made a conscious effort to gear the home page toward those seeking Christ and for Catholics looking for a parish. Our own parishioners can easily navigate through the site, but the home page is focused on evangelization.

        We don’t mention RCIA anywhere on the front page because those seeking or interested in becoming Catholic won’t know what the heck RCIA stands for. That’s why we have a big section entitled Become A Catholic with a blue button that Find Out More. We also have a similar section entitled Who is Jesus. I want to expand those sections in the coming months….it’s def a work in progress.

        If you read through the text about Sacraments and in the RE and Faith Formation sections, we are firmly Catholic…but we try and present the Catholic faith in a compelling way through site design.

        We use Squarespace as our content management system, so updating the site can be done simply through a wysywig editor using the web browser. So easy….you don’t need to know a lick of code.

    • Gail Finke

      YES this is so true. So much Catholic stuff looks awful, even when it’s produced by people who are supposed to be sophistocated media professionals. And they should know better! But they don’t seem to notice. Catholics are about 10 years behind the rest of the Christian world when it comes to contemporary music, design, etc. I hope that means that when we get good at it, we will avoid all the schlock that also gets made by and for the “Christian” market. Fellow Catholics: Let’s look like we know what we’re doing and we have something to say!

      Keithstrohm: That is a GREAT web site. I have been on a lot of parish web sites lately. That’s the best one I’ve ever seen.

    • Anonymous

      Keith the website lokos great! But your youth section has no information!!?? why don’t you guys embed the Xt3 event calendar for the diocese? See my article on it http://www.xt3.com/library/view.php?id=9088&categoryId=27
      I can give you the exact code to do this and choose a colour that fits the colour theme of your new website.
      Better than a broken link!

  • Paula

    Annnnnd now I can’t wait for March 26th :)

  • http://scrutinies.net/ Dorian Speed

    Great post, Marc! Er, Matthew! (insert “Luke and John” joke, tip your waitress, etc.)

    I would add that good design is intuitive for the user to navigate – something that can be complicated to put in place for an organization like a parish, where the site needs to both keep parishioners up-to-date and involved and lay out the welcome mat for visitors who may know very little about Catholicism.

    Very interested in following Matthew’s work and seeing more cool Catholic apps on the market. Mobile-responsive design is becoming more and more important, and that’s another challenge for parish websites. I finished up my first parish website design back in November and I’m already thinking “hmmm…now how can I make that work better on a mobile device?” (Since I’ve crossed over into blatant self-promotion, here’s the site in question: http://saintjosephplaincity.com/).

    And last – the site needs to be designed such that the folks maintaining it don’t need to have a ton of technical know-how, as the reality (at least in smaller parishes) is that the secretary is going to end up having to keep the website up to date and said person may be part-time or exclusively a volunteer.

    • http://twitter.com/Matt_Sich Matt Sich

      You are correct in noting that the design should be intuitive. I completely agree and I thought I added something about it in the article… maybe not =P

      Yes, responsive websites are becoming more and more useful and demanded. The problem is that not many people know how to make them correctly. There are many factors that play in if you plan to build a responsive design. The biggest of these is that in responsive websites, even on a mobile device, you will need to download the full resolution images in the page. What this means is that the images will still be the same size as in the full size page (which will be slower to download on a phone). Nevertheless, if you are building a website, making the page responsive is still better than having the user have to deal with the full, non-mobile friendly version of the website. Also, planning to make a page responsive after it’s already built is not usually a good idea… it will take for ever and you will end up trying to conform a design that was never intended to be responsive to the screen of a phone. It’s really something that you need to plan on when still in the design stages of the development.
      As per your website… I’m sorry to say that I think you really need to look at good web design. The site you linked to has a few things that I would change. First, being constrained to a set of colors is not usually easy to pull off… if you were not constrained to mustard and green, I would really urge you to change the colors because the current ones are a bit dull. Second, the page is quite blocky. Look into css3 and the box-shadow and the border-radius properties…. that may help you there. Please understand that I am not trying to sound condescending but I think you should look at other websites for ideas for better design. Don’t however look at other diocese websites because they usually don’t have the best design.

      What you mentioned about the need for the ability for easy maintenance is also very important. Precisely because of this, I use WordPress for all my websites… and then just hack the crap out of it. The usual problem, however, is not that a person cannot update the website easily but that a person simply doesn’t have the time to write the posts or whatever updates that are needed.

      Thank you for your comment,
      Matt

      • http://scrutinies.net/ Dorian Speed

        Hi, Matt – thanks for your honest feedback! The color scheme was based on photos of the church interior and was a collaborative decision with the parish staff. I’m always looking to improve and so I appreciate your recommendations.

        • http://www.snoringscholar.com/ Sarah Reinhard

          It’s always intriguing to be the subject of a conversation…we love the design Dorian did and also appreciate your thoughts, Matt. Great conversation (I usually avoid,the comboxes, but was checking out the spike in traffic the other day…)

      • http://www.brandonkraft.com/ Brandon Kraft

        I’d say though a responsive design is much better than a poorly developed mobile site. It is beyond frustrating when clicking a link in an e-mail to a specific page on a site and, since I’m using an iPhone, see the mobile homepage instead.

        Worse yet, as a “convenience”, only provides the basic information assumed to be needed from a phone (hours, location, etc).

        A key is to be purposeful with images from the beginning. A beautiful website doesn’t need to be overloaded with images.

        I like to use responsive themes over a mobile solution, also, for ease of maintenance. The more a client has to think about when he/she updates a site, the more likely they won’t do it.

        • http://twitter.com/Matt_Sich Matt Sich

          Definitely. That’s why you really need to know what the user is looking for and what he or she will want to access. The key is to fit as much of the full page as possible in the small screen of a phone without making a mess out of it. Usually all I do is remove the sidebar when the window size gets under 700px and everything else stays to the end but moves around to fit better.
          Also y0u are right about the images. It used to be that most of the page would be composed of images that would be repeated… so for example if you look at the box that you type your replies in on this blog, because of the inset shadow and rounded corners, you used to have to use multiple small images to construct it. Now, you can do that all in code which really saves a load of loading time.

      • http://scrutinies.net/ Dorian Speed

        I’m a WordPress person, too. I think the advantage of WordPress (and other open-source options) over proprietary software is that there’s a huge community supporting it, so if a parish’s Web Guy or Gal happens to move, apostatize, kidnapped by pirates, etc., the parish can still find out how to maintain and upgrade the site.

  • http://www.samlucero.com samlucero

    I wish I had more time to explore better design in WordPress. While my site is customized, I’m sure I could do much more with it. Any suggestions?

    • http://twitter.com/Matt_Sich Matt Sich

      Well… look at your website and ask yourself “Is this perfection?” If not, try to figure out what’s holding it back. Looking at other web design should help you to do this as references. Of course, you need to understand how wordpress themes work to have the ability to change anything in the code. This will, of course, take a little time but you can always go to my website where I have a few tutorials on starting out with web design and development (I haven’t updated it in a long time but shoot me an email when you need more and I’ll try to make time).

  • beckymozart

    Marc:

    My diocese has invited me to do presentations based on the “contraception” and “overpopulation” tabs on my site:

    http://dearpenn.wordpress.com/

    My audience would be primarily high school/college age kids and I’ve gotten it in my head that I could produce something similar to C.P.G.Grey’s videos:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uBcq1x7P34

    I’ve decided for Lent to spend some time each day working on this project. Is PowerPoint the best software to do something like this? Matthew, got any suggestions?

    One of my big concerns is using images honestly. Every blogger I know just does a Google image search and uses whatever they want, but I’ve read that not only is this copyright infringement, but I could be costing the person who hosts that image money by, I don’t know, stealing bandwidth or something. How do I get images honestly without spending a fortune? On my site I used the Zemanta feature WordPress provides that automatically gives credit where credit is due on images that have been released for such use, but it only works in blogs.

    I would be soooo grateful for some advice.

    • Michelle Thuldanin

      ABSOLUTELY. Just taking Google images is stealing! Unless it is the original artist and unless they have a linking function right there, JUST SAY NO. On that note, however, you can find art that is creative commons no attribution or stock photography. Just remember for old stuff : Just because the artist has been dead for hundreds of years doesn’t mean the person who took the picture and has copyright to that picture is.

      • http://scrutinies.net/ Dorian Speed

        Very good point re: the person who took the picture of Something Old still has copyright to the image. I believe all of the images in Wikipedia have a Creative Commons license. You can find quite a lot of great Catholic art (images of the saints, etc.) via Wikipedia.

      • http://www.brandonkraft.com/ Brandon Kraft
    • http://scrutinies.net/ Dorian Speed

      Becky, I’m not sure why my earlier comment isn’t showing up – possibly because it had a link in it. If you Google “Brian Gardner” “stock images” you’ll find a great post about where to find images, free or at very low cost. There are more suggestions in the comments for said post. I personally use Morguefile for images, and although attribution isn’t required I’ll usually link back to the original image in the caption for the image.

    • http://twitter.com/Matt_Sich Matt Sich

      Looks like the others did well replying to your question about copyright so I want to address something else if I may – If you will be showing a presentation to college/high school age kids, I would really urge you not to treat them as children. I’m 18 and I remember all the presentations we had in high school… it really appeared as if the presenter planned to talk to kids. You may already know this but most (if not all) kids in college and high school know about contraception so I would propose that you don’t sugarcoat the topic and try to avoid words that you think may be “offensive” to a person here and there… I always found that really condescending. Hopefully that helps you in some way with your presentation.

      Cheers,
      Matt

      • beckymozart

        Good advice! Any suggestions on software that will allow me to do good animations in the presentation? Is Power Point the way to go? Bullet point presentations make me suicidal with boredom. I’m willing to do the work to make something interesting that holds your attention.

        • http://twitter.com/Matt_Sich Matt Sich

          None that are free unfortunately. I think powerpoint is the best thing to use if you don’t have the budget but you shouldn’t rely on it too much during the presentation. I think in the absence of exciting animation, the best thing to do is to be openly passionate about your message. Be active on your stage and keep the audience’s attention on YOU every second of your presentation.
          When telling you this, I just have Chris Padgett in mind (if you don’t know who he is, google him). I have him as a professor here at the university but he spoke at my high school a few times. Every time he gives a presentation or teaches a class, he captures his listener’s annexation for the duration of the presentation or class. He could be talking about anything and it would still be interesting!
          Again, if you don’t have the ability to put great animations in your slideshow, don’t rely on it but instead act out the excitement by keeping the audience’s attention on you.

          hope that helps,
          Matt

          P.S. if you have adobe after effects, use it for animations and visit videocopilot.net

        • Anonymous

          If you are using a Mac or iPad, check out Keynote. It can do a lot, including simple animations. It’s also already set up for using an Apple remote control, which can be very handy.

          Blessings on your presentations!

  • http://catholicunveiled.wordpress.com/ Michelle @ Catholic Unveiled

    Matt! Hello :) Question for you: this is something I’ve been praying about for some time.

    I’m a wordpress user, but I don’t own my domain name (wordpress.com, not wordpress.org). I don’t really blog for the love of web design or new media – I blog for the love of writing, and in hopes that perhaps something I write will touch someone and strengthen them in their faith. So I’ve never really felt the urge to spend money on my blog if I can help it.

    However, recently I’ve just been feeling like…well, basically exactly what you said in this post. If I’m not going to go all out, I might as well leave it to someone who is, you know? Go big or go home. Here I am, writing all the time about how we’re all called to greatness, and I’m settling for average. A little hypocritical, right?

    So what do you think? Should I spend the money on a domain name and take the time to learn web design? Or is there another way to pursue excellence? Is it possible to manipulate wordpress.com themes and infuse them with some holy, Catholic, apostolic radness? OR would it be best if I leave web design to the people who really love and are passionate about web design, and wait to see if the Lord will let me use my writing for Him in some other way down the road? Frank honesty welcome :)

    Blessings to you for all that you’re doing for Mother Church! Thank you, keep up the good work, and maybe I’ll see you around at Steubie next year!

    • http://twitter.com/Matt_Sich Matt Sich

      Michelle,

      You are not the first to ask me this. My answer will be the same to you: You cannot expect quality without spending money or time. It all comes down to “How serious are you about this?” … how committed are you? will it be worth the money and time? will there be an opportunity for return on investment?
      If you are really serious about spreading the message online, I personally think you should be well versed in the medium (i.e. web design and development). If, however, you decide to instead direct your full attention on the writing, but are still really serious about reaching as many people as possible, I think you should really consider getting a personal domain and someone who can help you set up a good website/blog.
      Again, it depends on how serious you are about this and what your budget is.

      Matt

  • http://twitter.com/hglifeasaprayer Heather Marie

    Well said. I recently started my blog and threw together a banner in a few minutes. I myself am not totally sold on the look, so no doubt will play with it until I absolutely love it. In any case, Marc, I nearly spit out my coffee when I read the following statement: “Correct said suckage and let Holy Mother Church be exalted through the power of good web design.” I absolutely agree. It doesn’t matter how great your message is, if the presentation is poor your audience will be lost. As Matt so eloquently put it, “the design complements the message and, in turn, the message complements the design.”

  • M Canica

    Lovin this! Thanks Marc!

  • sarah

    Such a great point… there’s a company called Creative Rhetoric out of JP Catholic University in San Diego that operates on the same principle, namely, using compelling design in service of a great message. It’s great to see Catholics realize that we have the greatest message in the world and we need to present it as such.

  • CrowdFinch

    Thanks for this informative tips. Regards!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adrian-Carlson/100003406478208 Adrian Carlson

    I feel the exact SAME way. I grew up going on retreats in our diocese, I absolutely loved the retreats, but the t-shirts they always gave us were hideous, and none of the retreatants would be caught dead wearing the shirts in public! So I decided I was going to change that I Now over the past 5 years or so I have been trying to make Catholic t-shirts that the youth actually like to wear. It has not been easy. I have had to teach myself photoshop and illustrator but the results have been great and people love my designs. I hope with in the next year or so to open up my own screen printing buisness to create Wonderful Catholic designs on a regular basis. here are some of my designs for those who want to look

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11563072@N02/sets/72157627997425504/

  • http://glimpseofpeace.blogspot.com/ Bridget

    Inspired to re-think my blog designs, thanks to you! They are not lacking passion, but my tech-illiteracy does show. May your Lent be blessed. Looking forward to your next big launch in March (the Monday after the Feast of the Annunciation…)

  • http://www.facebook.com/johnnykickstart John Flynn

    Great article and great comments! I’ll throw in my two cents for what it’s worth :) The Catholic Church has always been at the forefront of great art. There is a very distinct difference between good solid workable design and art. Both are valuable but different. In web and graphic design we need people who are providing both of these things and who understand the difference. My definition of the difference as it relates to web design is that a designer creates or has in mind something workable and functional and then designs around it to make it look attractive whereas a web artist creates an inspiring piece first and then makes it workable and functional. Of course the definition of what is “art” and what it is can, will be and has been debated forever! The important thing really is that we have people like everyone here who is committed to the discussion…..

  • Anonymous

    Some of you may be interested in entering your parish websites into the Catholic Tech Talk 2012 Catholic Parish Website of the Year contest:
    http://catholictechtalk.com/contests/

  • http://profiles.google.com/owenswain owen swain

    You are welcome to look at my blog and judge. I’ll take any hit I can get, eh.

  • http://profiles.google.com/owenswain owen swain

    Oh, right, guess it would have been smart to flog the blog(s) http://luminousmiseries.blogspot.com/& http://owenswain.blogspot.com/

  • http://www.facebook.com/joeclark1977 Joe Clark

    I hope whatever the new project is, it doesn’t have the “skinny column” problem in the comments area!

    • http://twitter.com/Matt_Sich Matt Sich

      the “skinny column” ?

  • Apcordov

    Looking forward to the 26th!

  • Anonymous

    Oh my goodness I have such a problem with some of our parish and diocese websites in Sydney, Australia some are excellent but others are so stuffy and old! Check out an article I wrote about it. I think every parish and every diocese in the world should embed their diocesan xt3 event calendar to overcome this problem we have of keeping our websites up to date read more here: http://www.xt3.com/library/view.php?id=9088&categoryId=27

    • http://twitter.com/LitaLedesma Lita Ledesma

      The problem is that a lot of parishes embed dead calendars that they’re not updating. That’s almost worse than not having anything at all. Like many businesses with no dedicated staff to maintain/update, a lot of parish sites get designed by a professional and then neglected by the parish office once the project is done. Part of good design is understanding the needs of its users and being realistic about the implementation of whatever features are being offered.

  • Peter Nuar

    Looking forward to the surprise project! Watch your back though, so you don’t become a Breitbart.

    After design, the next biggest turn off is spelling/grammar: “waste, not waist” in the block quote. Misspellings quickly show either 1) lack of attention or 2) ignorance.

    • http://twitter.com/Matt_Sich Matt Sich

      I’ve got you for that ;) Thanks for noticing. It will be fixed when let is over and Mark gets back to blogging.

      I’m not sure what you are trying to say with your last sentence though…

  • http://twitter.com/LitaLedesma Lita Ledesma

    This is a hugely relevant subject in the Catholic community, and near and dear to me as a Catholic graphic designer. I couldn’t agree more; bad design sinks a message. Catholic organizations need to embrace the visual arts and take this component of their evangelical efforts (within and without) more seriously, particularly when dealing with contemporary media.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joseph-Cunningham/503724445 Joseph Cunningham

      It’s so true…in fact, according to Marshall McLuhan, “the medium is the message.” I think many Catholics and Christians separate the two, believing that somehow the message is compelling enough on its own, but this is certainly not the case.

      I met a great web designer, Christopher Wendt, and I was impressed by his philosophical understanding of aesthetics and how he blends the two in his work. He is a devout Catholic who is also very passionate about design – if a site doesn’t look good or was poorly crafted, he shudders. You can see some of his work here: http://www.hyperdo.com/

      Contemporary media can be such a powerful tool – I think many Catholics cling to sappy, 60′s style art and music, and it has limited our intuition. We really ought to be striving for perfection in all that we do – whether it’s Catholic web design or art.

      Cheers to all who understand the importance of design!

  • Chely Ruvalcaba

    allyoucaneatcatholics.com is designed really well!

    • http://twitter.com/brendonwbrown Brendon Brown

      That’s because it’s a premium theme bought for an industry-proven CMS.

  • gcallah

    “Simply look at Apple as an example. Why are they currently outselling Windows?”

    This guy is nuts! Windows has about 90% market share.

    • Matt Sich

      Doesn’t that just add to my point? Apple still outsells windows.

      • genecallahan

        What?! It’s the OPPOSITE of your point. Windows outsells Apple 10 to 1.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X