Designing and deploying websites for education institutions is a daunting task due to the diverse needs of students, faculty, administrators, graduates, and alumni. However, a well-designed website can significantly enhance a school’s marketing efforts by attracting and retaining the interest of online users. In fact, about half of consumers consider web design to be important to a company’s brand. Schools can use their web design to showcase their unique qualities and give prospects an insight into who they are and what they are like. To successfully draw in prospects, schools need to take a strategic approach that goes beyond great aesthetics and includes everything from striking visuals to a pleasant user experience.
Why good web design is important
A high-quality, functional website serves as a primary resource for current students and parents to find information on courses, extracurricular activities, and upcoming events. On the other hand, a poorly designed website with confusing navigation and an unclear message can turn off users and affect the number of applications a school receives. This is why it is imperative for schools to invest in their online presence and create a website that accurately communicates their vision. Listed below are the key features that make up a good school website.
Key features of a good school website design
- Eye-catching Visual Appearance. A school website should capture the school’s unique personality through its design, including logo, colour scheme, and imagery. A presentable and uniform look creates a positive first impression and keeps visitors engaged with the content. Striking a balance between simplicity and complexity is essential.
- User-friendly Simplicity. Avoid complicated and hard-to-navigate websites that can increase bounce rates. By removing unnecessary elements and keeping the layout clean, users will have a better experience consuming information. Streamline both backend and frontend designs for optimal results.
- Engaging Informational Content. Provide a platform for students and parents to find information about events, news, extracurricular activities, and more. Regularly update the content and consider adding a blog to keep the website alive and engaging for all users.
- Multi-device Responsiveness. Ensure your website is accessible and user-friendly on desktops, tablets, and smartphones. A responsive website allows the school community to access news and updates from any device and also improves Google search rankings.
- Easy-to-use Content Management System. A Content Management System (CMS) allows schools to publish, edit, and update content easily and quickly. This saves time and effort for administrators and ensures that the website remains up-to-date with accurate information for students, parents, and other stakeholders. An easy-to-use CMS also ensures that the website’s design and layout remain consistent throughout the site.
- Smooth Navigation and Online Prospectus. Create an intuitive navigation menu featuring high-value pages like course catalogues and enrolment forms. Offer an online prospectus for easy access, providing a greener alternative to traditional paper-based prospectuses.
- Intuitive Search Functionality. Implement a predictive search bar for easy and efficient access to specific courses or faculty information. This feature caters to prospective students who need quick access to the information they seek.
- CRM and Social Media Integration. Track website visitors and store valuable data in your CRM. Integrate your website with social media feeds to provide real-time information and keep users engaged without leaving your site.
- Compelling Design and Strong Layout. Showcase your school’s culture and brand identity through a coherent and elegant design. Feature real photos of campus life and use semantic HTML for improved readability and scannability. Emphasise your school’s programs and key services in the layout.
- Useful Functionality and Showcasing Student Work. Incorporate useful features like online student applications and virtual libraries to enhance user experience. Showcase student work to foster a sense of community and motivation among students, while also attracting prospective students.
- Events Calendar and Easy Contact. Include an events calendar that highlights upcoming activities and important dates, and facilitate easy contact between parents, students, and the administration through contact forms and instant messaging options.
A school website plays a crucial role in creating a lasting first impression on prospective students and parents, while also keeping current ones informed and connected. By following best practices, you can easily achieve these goals in a visually appealing manner.
However, it’s important not to overlook the collaboration between designers and web developers. This can help convey key messages in an aesthetic and functional way that’s optimised for your target audience and search engines. With good collaboration, your school can create a website that stands out and effectively communicates its unique qualities.
If you’re considering a new web design project for an educational institution, such as a school or college, don’t hesitate to reach out. Creativ Digital can digitally transform your brand and create a high-quality, functional website that accurately communicates your vision. With a strong, compelling education website, you’re sure to attract attention from your audience and achieve your goals.