Your school’s website is one of your biggest marketing tools. It often serves as your first point of contact with prospective families and staff, so a beautiful, intuitive website is integral to making a good first impression. In website development, UX and UI are arguably the most important principles to keep in mind to ensure your school attracts the best students and staff!
What is UX/UI?
UX refers to user experience, which encompasses the aesthetics, content, and interactive elements that make navigating a website enjoyable. Website elements such as color scheme, page names, and visuals fall under UX.
UI refers to user interface, which encompasses general visual structure and facilitates the flow of information when a user navigates a website. UI designers consider the browsing behavior of a user and aim to present the elements of a website in a way that allows one to navigate a website in the most intuitive way possible.
How can good UX/UI help your school attract the best students and staff?
Did you know that good UX/UI can convey your school’s personality? Your website’s UX/UI is an extremely influential, yet often overlooked, showcase of your school’s character.
Look at Waiakeawaena Elementary School’s website, for instance. The bright color scheme, rounded text and iconography, straightforward site navigation, and multitude of moving visuals and interactive elements brilliantly convey the school’s sense of fun and welcoming “aloha” vibes!
Also consider Prospect Ridge Academy’s website. It’s darker color scheme with accents of sophisticated yellow, parallax scrolling, transparent elements, and simple navigation suggest a modern, refined personality suited for a rigorous college preparatory school.
However, in the current consumer-driven market, it’s also necessary to move your website’s focus away from your brand and towards your audience’s needs. A good UX/UI designer aspires to make using your website a good experience for your school community, both aesthetically and functionally. Prospective families and faculty will judge a book—or in this case, your school website—by its cover. A visually unappealing website will deter some users, and a website with difficult navigation that obscures information will frustrate others. Conversely, an aesthetically-pleasing website with intuitive navigation that quickly leads to pertinent information will likely attract people to your school.
Not convinced? Many studies have shown that companies that focus on user experience actually perform better financially. Not only will a well-designed website attract more students, increasing your school’s revenue, but it will also lower the amount of calls from disgruntled parents unable to find basic information on a hard-to-navigate website!