UCC.org Website Updates Notice

Published: Monday, February 12, 2024.

Dear Friends in Christ,

Greetings to you in these few days before Lent begins.

As you might have noticed, our ucc.org website has been on its own journey of wandering, stirring, growth, expectation, hope, and more. We have heard your concerns, are working to address the problems, and are committed to expanding God’s extravagant welcome to new and existing UCCers through our digital platforms.

Recently, the MarCom Team of the National Setting was excited to launch the redesigned Main Menu (light blue background) and Utility Menu (dark blue background).

Screen shot of the UCC.org homepage with labels for the utility menu and main menu.

This new menu:

  • Alleviates “jumpiness” for desktop/laptop users.
  • Improves user experience on mobile devices and tablets.
  • Decreases load time for all devices.
  • Increases accessibility for people with disabilities and those who use assistive applications/devices (such as screen readers).
  • and more!

With every major website update, we expect to encounter some issues. In the week since the launch of the new menu, we have already fixed several issues, identified additional ways to improve, and committed to increasing communication.

As we continue to update and upgrade UCC.org over the next few months, here are our commitments:

  1. To provide a summary of edits
  2. To limit the frequency of updates
  3. To minimize disruptions during peak times
  4. To offer a platform for reporting issues

1. Provide a Summary of Edits (“Change log”)

At the bottom of this page, you will find a reverse-chronological list of completed changes, ongoing updates, planned upgrades, and scheduled edits. We will update this list as often as needed.

Updates may include:

  • “Missing Pages” we’ve recovered
  • Where to find the content of pages that are consolidated or archived
  • Long-term plans for migration/reorganization (once authorized)
  • New locations in the event of reorganizing/reordering menu items
  • *Special callouts for improvements made in efforts to center the experience of people with disabilities
  • Reported issues that we’re investigating

2. Limit the Frequency of Updates

Instead of making small edits as fast as possible, we will batch edits into larger “rollouts.” This approach offers several advantages:

  1. Provides more time for the Team to review issues and address them strategically- allowing us to “work smarter.”
  2. Reduces the likelihood of errors that can result from frequent database changes across multiple backups.
  3. Minimizes how often website users could experience disruptions/downtime- frequent visitors won’t need to relearn the website layout every time.
  4. Faithfully stewards the Church’s resources by getting the most value from our contracts with vendor partners.

3. Minimize Disruptions During Peak Times

We know that the most active users of ucc.org are members and leaders of congregations who rely on the resources, worship planning tools, reflections, and articles available from many parts of the website.

To ensure you can access what you need to faithfully serve in your setting, we are implementing new procedures regarding technical (database) and menu (navigation) rollouts/updates.

  • Issues will be identified and compiled by the MarCom Team (in coordination with National Staff).
  • MarCom Staff will work with our vendor to determine a plan and timeline to fix the issues.
  • Technical and menu updates are first “sandboxed” and tested on a “dev” site by our vendor.
  • Updates will only be pushed “live” during these windows: Monday, 5-6 AM Eastern Time, and Tuesday, 5-6 AM Eastern Time.
  • Unless a serious problem or security issue arises, there will be NO technical or menu rollouts* leading up to Holy Week/Easter Monday (Wednesday, March 27 – Monday, April 1).

*New content, articles, and resources will be added per the normal publishing schedule, but there will be no menu rearranging, page compiling, or server-side updates.

4. Offer a Platform for Reporting Issues

Active users of ucc.org have been very helpful in bringing awareness to website issues, missing content, and problems that sophisticated website tools might not catch.

During this season of ongoing website updates, we want to make it easier for you to alert us to ongoing issues!

We have created a form for you to let us know if you are experiencing issues on ucc.org. Before submitting this form, please help us reduce duplicates by making sure it doesn’t already appear in the Change Log.

In the very unlikely chance that ucc.org experiences an extended period of downtime, you should still be able to access this form. Feel free to bookmark it if needed!

The web address for the form: https://forms.office.com/r/RLW3puiMtT

The MarCom Team and full National Setting are so grateful for your patience and grace upon grace during this season of website improvement.

Blessings and peace to you as we journey through Lent together.

Below you will find an abbreviated summary of updates. Please note that progress updates will be delayed if there is a high volume of submissions or issues that require site-wide changes.

Change log:

  • *Menu: Improved user interface and accessibility updates to Main Menu and dark blue Utility Menu: Ongoing
  • Content: Update Parent Page names, categories, links/redirects etc. to reflect new unit names and ministry team alignment: Ongoing
  • *Menu: Improve menu organization: Planned
  • Content: Clean up duplicate pages/redundancies; organize key pages for an intent-based user experience: Planned
  • *Menu: Add “Back” button at the top of a column when a submenu item is open: Scheduled
  • *Menu: Autoclose submenu when the menu closes: Scheduled
  • *Menu: Change hover color of submenu headers (currently white text on light grey background): Scheduled
  • Menu: Link UCC logo to ucc.org (mobile menu): Scheduled
  • Menu: Update the order of affiliated ministries under Who We Are > Structure > Affiliated Ministries: Scheduled
  • Menu: Update submenu How We Serve > Human Resources > Welcome to Human Resources [add link]: Scheduled
  • Menu: Nest “Synod 33 Worship Videos” under Who We Are > About > General Synod: Scheduled
  • *Menu: Remove links to social channels and add highly-requested links on the mobile Utility Menu (links to social channels will still appear in the footer of each page): Scheduled
  • *Menu: Adjust submenu column width to prevent the “Support Our Cause” column from obscuring others: Scheduled
  • *Menu: Add search icon to mobile Utility Menu: 2/06/24
  • *Menu: Update “responsive design” parameters (show full menu on smaller computer monitors and show mobile menu on larger tablets): 2/05/24
  • *Menu: Launch new, accessible Main Menu Navigation and dark blue Utility Menu: 2/02/2024
  • Content: Update Staff Directory to reflect new unit names and ministry team alignment: 2/02/24
  • Content: Update each Unit’s landing page title and content to reflect new unit names and ministry team alignment: 1/08/24

Last update: Monday, February 12, 2024

Mock-up of the new ucc.org website menu as it appears on 5 kinds of devices.