In the religious circles in which I run, R.C. Sproul is kind of a big deal. The man has published dozens and dozens of books — some of which occupy space on my bookshelves at home — has a daily radio program (“Renewing Your Mind”), and is the founder of Ligonier Ministries, whose goal is “to faithfully present the unvarnished truth of Scripture and help people grow in their knowledge of God and His holiness.”
Ligonier Ministries recently launched a new website, and it’s a real beauty. Sure, it incorporates a little of that sadly all-too prevalent “grunge” look, but it does so tastefully, imbuing the website with a sense of warmth and age similar to what you might find with an old book. There’s a great attention to detail throughout the site, such as the design of the breadcrumb trail in the site’s footer and the use of dropshadows to add a light, airy mood to the site.
The color scheme — which is comprised of greens, browns, and a splash of orange here and there — add to the site’s warmth, making it very inviting to spend some time winding your way through its pages. Which is a good thing, because the site contains a ton of content, including sermons, articles, blog entries, and many other resources that fall inline with Ligonier Ministries’ aforementioned goal.
The sheer amount of information is the site’s greatest strength, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t frustrating to navigate through it all. For example, I was making my way through the “Questions Answered” section — which addresses many of the common questions about Christianity a la Sproul’s book Now, That’s a Good Question! — but I quickly found it daunting to use the basic pagination to move around.
There’s a tag cloud as well as a topic index that can be used to find resources but they’re a little daunting as well and can result in extra clicking. The site mitigates this somewhat with its navigation, specifically the nice-looking dropdown menus, but there’s still some room for improvement. For example, it’d be nice if there were targeted sub-navigation options when you’re in a specific section, such as a topic/keyword index in “Questions Answered” that is more specific to that section.
All in all, though, the new Ligonier Ministries site — which is in “beta”, natch — brings together solid, even beautiful design with a real wealth of content. The result is a website that I plan to spend more time on in the coming weeks, both to appreciate the design and to learn from the content.