BCM at Virginia Tech

BCM at VT Homepage

BCM at Virginia Tech Website Redesign

The Baptist Collegiate Ministry at Virginia Tech had a full website revamp to meet the needs of students and staff members alike. Made for a seamless experience as users engage with the site.

Initial Meeting

The project began by meeting with one of the staff members to further understand their goals for the website, resulting in a list of requirements for an MVP. In addition to the MVP list, we also reviewed “Nice to haves” for further showcasing the student ministry’s personality.

Our initial assessment of the site showed that there was no clear path for new students to find ways to get involved and to understand ‘Who is the BCM?’ and ‘Why should I join?’.

For current members of the BCM, the site lacked any true need to visit other than viewing upcoming events and mission trips, which were uninformative or lacked shareability.

Lastly, the staff members were in need of a content management system for updating and generating new content without the need of a developer.

*Given the limited timeframe, user studies were not incorporated in this project. If the time had been allotted, qualitative studies such as surveys and usability testing would have been conducted to gather feedback and insight on user engagement and interaction with the site.

Goals

  • A Virginia Tech student ministry by the name of Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM) was in need of updating their current website to match today’s digital trends while also catering more towards new students to help them find a way to get plugged in to their community.
  • The staff members of the BCM were also in need of a website that was easy to manage, without any knowledge of coding, to be able to make updates regularly on the site.

Must Have (MVP)

  • Map of where the building is on Home page
  • Some form of New Student Connect
  • BCM’s beliefs, simple with our mission statement
  • Staff pictures, email, and title
  • Contact info
  • Events with Schedule
  • Brief description of our Worship, explain 6:33
  • Quick description of our Groups
  • A listing method of all the family groups based on study night (includes dorm assignment)
  • Missions information
  • Giving page
  • Link to Blog
  • Links to Social
  • A file-sharing method for the study docs for DLs

Nice to Have

  • Personable, showcasing students through imagery.
  • A way to help New Students get connected trough direct link or form.
  • Directly showcase groups with pictures of their leaders.
  • Staff member short bios.

Personas

To create a better overall site experience, we needed to define who we are designing for; determine the target audience for the BCM at Virginia Tech.

New Student

New Student - User Persona

BCM Member

Current BCM Member - User Persona

Competitive Analysis

To get a better understanding of what other student ministry websites in the Virginia Tech community are doing, a Competitive Analysis was conducted to analyze trending themes, images, text, navigation, and other feature page elements to discern what direction the BCM should move towards.

Chi Alpha at Virginia Tech - Homepage
CRU at Virginia Tech - Homepage
RUF at Virginia Tech - Homepage

Information Architecture

Sitemap

The site was lacking direction for new students and included unfamiliar phrasing within certain navigational elements. The website has now been reduced to a simpler, more intuitive structure.

The navigation of the site remained aligned with the sitemap, the only change being the phrase “I’m New Here” within a separate button to give direction to new comers.

Sitemap of BCM Website
Site Navigation.16

Theme Curation

Based on the newly structured IA and content provided, we searched for themes that WordPress had to offer. Seeking a solution that also required minimal effort due to time constraints.

Once the template had been set in place, now was the time to adjust the theme to match the BCM’s branding.

Astra Theme Logo

Astra Theme

We chose the WordPress based Theme, Astra, which provides fast loading templates that are easily customizable.

Elementor Logo

Elementor

An Elementor template was chosen for flexible, customizable solutions, making it easy for the staff members to manage.

Apply Content to Site

Once the overall theme was ready, the content from the previous site was transferred over according to their respective pages. Any new content sections were provided with the appropriate text and imagery. See examples below.

Upcoming events highlights

Upcoming Events

This block of content allows for easy visibility into socials coming up.

Location and contact information and a map showing where the BCM building is located

Map of Location

Inclusion of the BCM’s location on the home page will help new students.

Family Group image with information about the group, on the right side there is a link to contact someone in joining a group

Family Groups

Family Group photos brought to the surface for quick and easy discovery.

Engaging Features

Event Sharing

Students interested in finding more about upcoming events can navigate to the Events page where they can view and save events to their calendar. Each event page can be easily shared, making these socials more easily accessible for new and current members.

Mobile view of events page, showing a list of previous events. User clicks on an event and the event page displays where a user can add the event to a calendar of their choice.
BCM at VT Homepage loads and user clicks to Get Started

Motion Effects

To encourage user engagement and scrolling down each page, we implemented Motion Effects. This introduced simple, yet effective, micro-animations to encourage eye movement when an element moves on the page, guiding the user’s attention further down the page to learn more about what the BCM has to offer.

The End

The BCM’s new website now incorporates a seamless way for new students and current members to get plugged into a community at Virginia Tech. The staff members expressed their gratitude and thanks for the new design and are happy to know they won’t need to code anymore HTML and CSS. All just in time for the upcoming semester.

Go Hokies!