The Well Community Church (The Well) is a multi-site church located in Fresno, CA. The Well had a mobile application solution for several years but the hired developers of the software neglected the application and failed to update the package that The Well was paying for on a subscription basis. As a result, taking into account the fact that the service never really met the needs of the organization precisely from the beginning, the instability of the applications prevented the app from meeting any of the objectives of the organization resulting in congregation frustration, complaints and general abandonment of the mobile apps. The Well needed to design custom applications to to meet the goals of the Church and their target group.
The Well needed mobile applications on all major platforms that function as a powerful marketing and communication tool to serve the immediate congregation, attract new congregants and position The Well as a thought leader in ministry. Furthermore, the new mobile applications needed to meet if not exceed the brand quality that The Well’s congregation and community have come to expect.
Specifically, the new mobile applications needed to provide the existing ‘deprecated app’ users a new native mobile experience on iOS, Android and Windows phones. The apps needed to showcase current and recent content as well as upcoming and current events. The apps also needed to feature a custom music streaming service for The Well’s worship team. The mobile applications also aimed to increase the sharing of The Well’s content especially on social media. It was also important that the apps increase tithing. The apps also needed to provide answers to common questions to free up staff from repetitive telephone inquiries. The mobile applications also needed to be a practical solution that elevated the existing website to a content management system (CMS) through which applicable updates to the site would update the mobile applications. It was critical that the apps save resources of time, money and human capital by providing a solution where only one system, the website, needed to be updated, to update the content of the website and all three applications. The app also needed to measure user engagement with analytics. Lastly, the apps needed to meet The Well’s mobile app needs without incurring a monthly subscription cost for the foreseeable future.
The target audience for The Well’s mobile applications are their cellphone-using congregants. The new mobile applications needed to assist the target audience access opening hours and location details and gathering and event times. The audience needed easy access to many modern convenience features they had come to expect from a mobile app experience, like streaming video to televisions, picture-in-picture, streaming music to speakers, and social sharing. It was important that the audience could access to The Well’s content, like sermon recordings, blog publications and music and Bible reading plans. Ultimately, The Well’s applications needed to be a useful resource for existing congregants, potential new congregants and possibly community members or general app users.
The development of three completely new native applications for iPhones, Android phones, and Windows Phone built from the ground up, with a custom design to convey the value that The Well Community adds to its congregation and community was recommended.
The new applications were designed to allow the congregation to research information like event and gathering times and location, and general information about the church and its leadership. The new apps were designed to enable users to view sermons and watch blog videos, with the ability to save all to a mobile device for viewing on-on the go. The new design encouraged congregation members to use the app daily by giving them access to a daily reading plan. The design also encouraged the congregation to pay their tithes and offering with the ability to pay in-app. The new design also gave the congregation the ability to stream audio and video from the app to enabled televisions and speakers. Lastly, the new apps would allow the church to track engagement with analytics.