The phone rings on Saturday night. It’s your child’s Sunday School teacher asking you to be a last-minute substitute for his class. “You can find the lesson on LDS.org,” he says before thanking you and hanging up. LDS.org is easy to find, but now where do you look? LDS.org will get a new navigation menu in a release scheduled for mid-May, the latest of the Church’s continuing improvements to make its official website more personalized and easier to use.
Aware that any changes may be temporarily confusing for anyone who regularly uses the site, the Church has prepared an introductory video as well as instructional video tours to ease the transition. These will be found on the LDS.org home page and linked from social media and other sources to help visitors learn about and navigate the new menu structure.
Why change at all?
Studies by the Church show that members rely on LDS.org to help them:
- Become better followers of Jesus Christ.
- Serve in their callings and assignments.
- Feel inspiration and hope.
- Find practical help for life’s challenges.
- Stay connected with the Church.
But users’ feedback over the past few years regarding LDS.org has been clear: resources are difficult to find, and the navigation could be more intuitive. That feedback reminds Jeff Isom, director of LDS.org, of the scripture that says, “For there are many who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it” (Doctrine and Covenants 123:12).
“The goal of improving the website is to help visitors find and use the great resources available to them on the site,” he said.
To help members more easily find these resources, user researchers, information architects, designers and developers combined years of user feedback with extensive research to create a more intuitive navigation menu. Testing shows the new navigation significantly improves the “findability” of content and resources (see table).
“We have incorporated user feedback to make changes in the areas we hope will bring the greatest improvement for the most people,” said Brother Isom. “While we are confident that the new menu structure is a significant step forward, we’ll continue to listen, learn, and adjust,” he said.
Brother Isom invites Church members to take the time to explore the new menus on LDS.org. “Look for resources you commonly use,” he said, “then take a detour to discover something new. You might also consider sharing something that might be of value to someone else.”
What will be different?
Upcoming changes to LDS.org include new menu options, improved My Account and Ward options, and a few new sub-pages with additional helpful resources. The new menu options along the top blue bar are:
- Scriptures and Study
- Families and Individuals
- Share the Gospel
- Inspiration and News
- Serve and Teach
Scriptures and Study
Scriptures and Study has three submenus: Prophetic Teachings, Learn About, and Helpful Resources. Scriptures — the most frequently searched topic — are easily found in this menu along with information on Jesus Christ, living prophets, general conference, and other lesson and study resources such as music and Church magazines.
Families and Individuals
Submenus include Eternal Families, Life’s Challenges, and Resources For. You can find family history information here as well as resources for young adults, youth, children, employment and self-reliance.
Share the Gospel
Submenus for Share the Gospel include Participate and Full-Time Missions. This is where you can find mission preparation information, the Missionary Portal, referrals for missionaries, and ideas on how to share the gospel.
Inspiration and News
Under submenus Be Inspired and Stay Informed is where you will find links to general conference, news, and social media resources.
Serve and Teach
Lead and Teach, Callings, and Service Opportunities are where you can find resources to help prepare a lesson, discover volunteer opportunities, and fulfill your calling.
My Account and Ward
The My Account and Ward menu located in the upper right corner of LDS.org now offers a more personalized LDS.org experience. You can change your LDS Account settings, connect to FamilySearch, read your ward newsletter, download apps, or access tools and links that are specific to your current calling in the ward or stake.
Some new menu options make helpful resources easier to find. For example, under Hope and Help you’ll find resources on topics like abuse, adoption, emotional and mental health, same-sex attraction, suicide, unemployment, and more.
“We’re striving to introduce change in an evolutionary manner based on users’ feedback and the changing needs of a growing global membership,” Brother Isom said. Visitors to LDS.org can help ensure changes are meeting their needs by scrolling to the bottom of any page on LDS.org and selecting Feedback.