7 Design Tests for Effective Church Communication

“7 Design Tests for Effective Church Communication” was posted with permission from Mark MacDonald.

Many organizations try to communicate with their audience every day. A ton of messages! This noise causes people to choose whether to engage with content or simply ignore it because it doesn’t interest them. And all of this is done very quickly.

Your church is in the middle of this noise, trying to push content. Will it be received? Usually, the design (layout) of the content is critical. Here are 7 design tests to ensure people will want to spend time with your communication:

1. Is it clear who it’s intended for?
People look at designed communication, and within a few seconds, they determine if it’s for them. If it’s not clear, few people will try to figure it out. Say who your communication is for or show it in the visual.

2. Is it clearly your brand?
Your church should have a graphic standard that it follows. People should know it’s from you without seeing your logo on it. Be consistent with your use of design, colors, and fonts. If they attend your church, they should like your branding and be attracted to it!

3. Is there priority to the communication?
When people look at your design, there should be a clear primary element that leads to the secondary and then to your tertiary elements. Usually, a headline is the first thing you want people to see, or maybe it’s the picture. Just never have competing elements! Know the clear 1, 2, and 3 of the design and eliminate competition by better sizing, colors, or placement.

4. Is it calm?
If everything is competing on the page or there are too many elements, your material will not feel welcoming. Simplify, flatten, and align elements in order to calm your design. More people will spend more time on a calm communication piece! This should be your goal!

5. Does the visual addition to the story or extend it?
Hopefully, you’re using photos or illustrations since they attract the eye. But make sure they aren’t too busy and that it’s clear why the visual is used with the rest of the content. Even better? Have the visual extend the content so that you don’t have to say as much in words. Remember, a good image is worth 1,000 words.

7. Is the content edited?
Too much content will kill a design and most people will resist reading it all. When someone believes there’s too much, they’ll choose to ignore the entire message or scan across it for some understanding. What’s better? You do the editing. Remove redundancy and every unnecessary word. Think bullet points rather than paragraphs!

8. Is there a call to action?
Ask the “what now?” question with every design or communication. If someone chooses to engage with your design, you need to know what you want them to do next. Be clear! Often designers aren’t clear so it’s difficult to make the message clear. Ask! You can rarely go wrong sending them for more information on your website.

“7 Design Tests for Effective Church Communication” was posted with permission from Mark MacDonald.