Lewisham Islamic Centre is a Mosque and Community Centre; a renowned charitable organisation based in the South-east of Lon-don. The list of organisational operations carried out by the centre for the local community is extensive, but broadly includes: educa-tion, social activities, chaplaincy and pastoral care.
Like many existing Charities established before 2010, Lewisham Islamic Centre (LIC) made use of their website via hard-coded HTML files with some re-used layouts. This is a particular problem that seems to be associated with anachronistic digital marketing of BAME organisations on a wider spectrum within the United Kingdom.
LIC were already positioned with an established brand following and Bright Choice was contracted to bring the website and digital marketing into the modern day while maintaining some of the core functionalities, such as public and internal calendaring, which the Charity benefitted from daily.
We initially updated the Charity’s brand, refreshing the colours and re-drawing the logo to tighten up the brand lines and smarten the overall look and feel. It was realised that the brand refresh might not be cost-effective and so we switched tracks to the website.
We ran a community survey across multiple physical and digital modes, collating and summarising user feedback which then fed back into our design and development process.
The result is a ultra-modern, thoughtfully laid-out website with dynamically loaded and UI editable prayer times, public and private calendars and quick access to documents and services that the community relies on every day.
Before commencing the design and development, we ran a full community feedback programme with the local community in partnership with the Centre. This involved printed and digital surveys which were then compiled, statistically analysed and visualised into easy charts and graphs. The feedback was then processed into full recommendations which were submitted to the LIC committee and approved prior to starting the design stage.
Branding & Typography
As a community centre, the LIC is primarily a service provider for their local community. Their old website was a table-based layout with a sidebar menu. Based on the feedback received through the community survey, it was established that changes to familiar elements needed to be minimised and so a modern sidebar menu layout with a focus on informational tiles and easy access to services was prioritised.
The “About” page was built to serve as a stepping-stone for a variety of information of interest to those looking to explore and find out about the centre. A sub-menu design was conceptualised and built while the body content focused on the ethos of the centre itself.
One of the key pieces of information for the LIC’s community as a Mosque and Community Centre is the Prayer Timetable. The previous website offered a basic timetable which had dates and times laid out in a text file as an array and then pulled via code onto the website.
We built a custom SQL database and UI for adding, amending and deleting times and dates and pulling them in by native shortcodes. The layout was then thoroughly mobile-optimised as part of a mobile-first design. The result is a striking, clearly laid-out page with quick access to key information by colour coded and iconed data.
As a community service-provider, the LIC required a page to attractively display and easily add and remove information about their services offered to their community. A panel-based design in line with the overall brand change as per the panel-based homepage was implemented with beautiful image blocks. The page is organised, striking and easy to read both on larger and smaller screen sizes.
The LIC operates a large number of altruistic programmes around the London Borough of Lewisham. As such, it is important to the Centre that their moral and theological stance is properly conveyed when real-world events occur. The “Press Releases” section was built with this in mind; areas were designated for pinned, priority posts and access to historical press releases for further reading.
Another important area of information for the Centre’s attendees is access to dates and times for activities and events. A full calendaring system was installed and configured with frontend admin submission of events and calendars for different user types and a public calendar.
Documents & Downloads
The on-site admin office deals with a large number of document requests for a host of issues such as marriage, bereavement and many other local services. As the website should be the primary point of information for the Centre, a well-designed documents and downloads area is very important. A tile-based, tabulated design was built to accomodate these requirements and sign-posted around the website with custom tile-images for easy identification of downloads for users.
The contact page was designed to be inviting and information-dependant without extending the content length too much. Users needed to have access to contact and transport information at a glance, with quick links to transfer to off-site social media accounts. A Google Map was placed on the page to further elucidate the Centre’s ideal location to attendees.
As a registered Charity, the LIC conducts many of their operations through community donations. A page was required to display the various charity campaigns and quickly add additional campaigns when required. Buttons were placed directly to payment links for indvidual campaigns and clearly demarcated donation methods.