The Project

We have worked closely with the Cathedral to develop their new website, one of the main goals of which was to make the website more engaging for a younger audience whilst remaining accessible for older users. It was important that the cathedral promote the venue itself as a place that can be used for events and to showcase the many interesting sights and learning opportunities for tourism whilst most importantly grounding itself as place of worship, catering for the spiritual needs of its parishioners, where all our welcome.

Other factors we aimed to improve was use of photography - showcasing the magnificent building that is the Cathedral, its history and the hard-working Belfast Cathedral Team. The Content Management System also needed to provide staff with a simple and intuitive means of updating the website.

Challenges

When sitting down with the team it became apparent that the structure of worship, musical and external events intertwined in the cathedrals daily routine. It was important to show all separately on the site however these needed to be combined into a daily schedule.

With so many classifications of each, the system for adding events needed to be as comprehensive yet intuitive for both the users to navigate and digest on the front end and the cathedral staff to populate and manage from the CMS.

The Design

One of the most visually striking things when you see the cathedral is the architecture. Its grand exterior is matched by an intricate interior which immediately gives you a sense of awe, you can’t help but take in all the details of what you are seeing. We wanted to replicate this experience with the design on the website.

Large areas of uninterrupted photography have been used with contrasting type and detail from the cathedrals brand to really complement and convey the feeling you get in the cathedral for the web.

Modern design choices balance the important traditional element which can be seen in the type, brand and copy. This is all designed to cater for all audiences which was essential criteria in the brief.

The UI of the site consists of varying layouts to guide the user down the page and keep the reading experience fresh.

Showcasing What’s On

With the need to showcase the daily pattern of worship mixed with events, musical recitals and general cathedral news we have created a daily schedule for the user which encompasses all these into neatly displayed time slots. This daily schedule is showcased cathedral wide and breaks down into each department specifically showing only what applies to each. A categorised event and news listing also make it simple for the user to browse future events and articles.

The daily pattern of worship is clearly displayed without clutter making it completely accessible for users giving instant recognition for what services occur daily.

Familiar yet Dynamic Page Design

To showcase the cathedrals rich history and numerous attractions, dynamic pages have been created to allow the content to dictate the layout and be presented in a way that best suits it. Strong visual aids help to enhance specific bits of content to guide the user through each page’s unique story.