School websites are following many of the web design trends that we’re seeing in other sectors. Good User Experience (UX) is key – with large images, clear calls to action and maximum visual impact. Good engaging content remains a priority, social media is playing a greater role – and many school websites are now being optimised for mobile and tablet users.
Simon Verrall, Creative Director at Wisetiger took a look through the top 50 independent schools, ranked in 2012 by their A-Level performance. Here’s a selection of some of his favourite school websites which are setting standards 2013.Click on any of the images below to see a larger version.
Over the last few years school websites have evolved. Schools are now adapting their websites to account for their different target audiences, providing specific content and information that these different groups need. Broadly speaking, the different audiences are:
You’ll see from the examples above that Design and User Experience are very important in the independent schools sector. All of the examples here are visually engaging, using good photography and clear calls to action to make the website experience as good as possible. And of course, all of the websites deliver good written content right across their sites.
On a final note, it’s worth remembering that different audiences access school websites in different ways. Using analytical tools we know for example that existing parents often take a brief look at the school website from their smartphones or tablets, to check the school calendar or to look at news. Prospective parents on the other hand spend longer on the website, visiting more pages and typically view the site from a desktop PC or tablet device. Optimising websites for smartphones and tablets will become increasingly important for schools in 2013.