New UCC site: get me my lemon reamer

James Estes (Peregrinato) visited the new UCC website and tagged me for my opinion. He writes:

Simply put, I don’t like the new website for the United Church of Christ–at least at first glance.

I really don’t care for the menu bar with its so self-consciously hip titles: The 411, Church Stuff (…can we be any more dismissive about who we are?), Big Things, etc.

I want the Church, not H&M. I can understand the need to step back from church jargon, but this is just trying too hard.

Jim — you’re such a nice guy. I, on the other hand am just trying to repress all the snark within me. The new UCC.org is just very, very wrong. Perhaps in time I can spell out the hundreds of reasons why. Or perhaps several people will get fired at General Synod and the whole thing will get nuked. Whatever.
Hi! I’m Hans!
OK, UUA.org and Unitarian.org.uk have some serious problems, but at least neither of them offered a Flash animation tutorial to show us how “cool” it is. IM to UCC: anyone who uses cool, isn’t. I mean, I’m just speechless.

Anna Belle, can we get a witness?

Five minutes ago:

“Hi! I’m Hans, the UCC Answer Guy!”

No grown man, even in Flash, should be so excited to say “main menu bar.” Good Lord: the links are “whimsical.”

Oh, and PeaceBang can we get a review of his wardrobe? Do shirts not button up in Cleveland?

After about thirty seconds of that, I went to the kitchen to get a drink.

“Hi! I’m Jim Beam and I’m going to help you get through the rest of the tour.”

Himmel! Go see for yourself. Become one with your Inner Snark and let it go in the comments.

[Later. I wrote this about 11pm last night, in case you wonder if I take bourbon with my morning coffee. Actually, I’d do neither, being a tea drinker.]

About Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 45, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

23 thoughts on “New UCC site: get me my lemon reamer

  1. First thought on seeing the screenshot above: “Wow, is he trying to imitate the ‘Buddy Christ’ from ‘Dogma’?”

    “Whimsical” isn’t even good on NPR (the very mention of the word makes me think of the “Public Radio Ladies” from the old SNL skits). Does it belong on the front page of a national church site?

    At the very least, they’ve succeeded in alienating most of the 50 year old plus visitors to the UCC site. I can’t see my mom (who is a frequent web user) much liking it.

  2. Crime scene? Crime scene!? YES. That’s a wonderful way to describe it. It offends and insults and injures and demeans and even demoralizes in its attempt to be one of the cool kids.

  3. The Answer Boy is my new freakish hero! (I’ve heard that they were considering Paris Hilton for the job, but apparently she is not available these days, unfortunately.)

  4. Th3y 4r3 t0t4||y |337, 7h3y g07 7h3 411! M4d $k1||$!

    And for those without “the info (411)” there is Hans. Seems like a website designed by committee with good intentions and bad execution.

  5. What’s with the denominational Web site makeovers? The UUA, the UCC and the United Church of Canada (united-church.ca) have all just redone their sites. Now it’s impossible to find anything, with all those whimsical tabs!

  6. I finally got Hans to speak without garbled words. I’m struck by how odd his planned hand gestures seem to be. Not only with the “yeah, we heard you” guns but with the” hands cupped around breasts” gesture that seems to signify “see these large images”….

  7. I am speechless. Wish the same could be said of Han(d)s. Pause a moment and consider the time, money and effort put into this. Now go lie down with a cold compress on your head.

  8. Actually, the site works better is some ways – it’s menu is more streamlined than the previous one. OTH, the tags used to identify the main menu choices are more confusing.

    Hans’ explanation is fairly complete and clear. But, the constant hand, head, and eye motions are amusingly distracting. My favorite is when he gazes from left to right to indicate the news ticker in the middle of the page. Thankfully, he doesn’t automatically start when you go to the main page: that would be very annoying.

    Some links are broken and the page doesn’t always adjust for the screen when using Firefox.

    Mainstream churches still have a lot to learn from evangelical churches who have done this sort of populist outreach a lot longer and mainly better. :)

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