There are a lot of things to consider when designing your school website. The design should reflect the character and brand of the school, first and foremost. It should also feature a contemporary look and must adhere to best design practices. Plus, you should also make room for features and widgets that site visitors are most likely to look for.
At the same time, your school website should incorporate design trends that will make it look current and constantly updated. If you’re an early adopter, take a look at the following design trends that are predicted to go big in 2018:
Mobile responsiveness has been on the rise in the past few years, and with good reason. More and more people are browsing the Internet, online shopping, booking trips and hotels, and searching for schools using their mobile devices. By designing a mobile-responsive website, you are making your school more visible to students and parents who primarily depend on their mobile devices when searching for information.
You won’t only make your school more accessible to existing students; you’ll also have a better chance of being found by parents who are looking for a school to enroll their child in.
Easy navigation is always in vogue. This quality allows website visitors to quickly find answers whenever they’re looking for something on your school website. You can achieve this by organizing your navigation menu in an orderly and logical manner.
If your visitors are returning to your site to view a particular set of information -- admission requirements, for example -- it would be a good idea to create a tab in your main navigation that collates all data regarding that topic.
Designs Available for Everyone
Website accessibility should always be a top consideration in designing a school website. To accomplish this, website designers follow the technical guidelines set in the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.0.
Among the guidelines mentioned are:
- Using alternative texts to describe images
- Integrating various assistive technologies
- Avoiding content that can trigger seizures
- Allowing navigation without needing mouse controls
Simple, Clean Designs
Complex designs are now outpaced by so-called flat designs. Characterized by its simplicity and cleanliness, flat designs started becoming a trend in 2016. It aims to provide a user-friendly experience through unencumbered pages.
Modular design, or a design approach that makes use of independent parts and standard interfaces, is also still widely used in school websites.
Parallax Scrolling Technique
Parallax scrolling or asymmetrical scrolling refers to a technique where the background images move slower than the images in the foreground. It adds depth, color, and dimension to the website, and improves the way visitors control scrolling speed.
Website Loading Speed
Your visitors expect your website to load in 3 seconds or less. Improving your school website speeds will help you gain more data traffic. For example, faster-loading pages appear quickly on Facebook newsfeeds. Search engine rankings also depend on the page load time of the website.
You can boost your website speed by:
- Enhancing your website hosting
- Using images with the right size and dimension
- Using a tool that optimizes images but does not alter its quality
Enhanced Typography and Full-Width Imagery
Large, colorful fonts and full-width images are ideal for grabbing the attention of your visitors. These elements reinforce your branding, plus they also do a great job of balancing flat and modular website designs.
While the design trends for school website designs change every couple of years or so, you can still expect to see these staple elements featured in the best school websites:
Events List or Calendar
An event list or calendar shows the past, recent, and upcoming events of the school. This is the section that most visitors, especially parents and students, look for when visiting your site. It’s best to make this element a part of your home page.
Parents and teachers alike love it when you make your school forms available on the website. This feature allows visitors to download the form, fill it out, and send it back to the school at their convenience and without visiting the school itself. They’re not the only ones who benefit from this feature; by automating the submission process, you’re guaranteed to receive every form without needing added manpower to collect or sort them out.
Dedicated class pages provide parents with a quick and easy way to track their children’s activities and lessons. Students who miss class and need to catch up to the rest of their classmates can also use these pages. Online assignments help students evaluate their performance, explore their skills, and continue their learning experience while at home.
Getting a Head Start on 2018
Are you thinking or incorporating these trendy ideas to your school website design? Do you want your school website to be the best it can be? Then you’ve come to the right place.
Edlio is a trusted website provider for schools and districts across North America. Take a look at our portfolio and imagine what we can do for your school website.