As a school, your school web design is your first impression. That means it’s also where your conversion opportunity lies – if you want to attract new parents/guardians and increase enrollment, having a remarkable website is the best place to start.
There’s nothing wrong with having a school website that looks similar to others, but you need to stand out among your competitors in some way. This is why in this article we’ll be discussing the 2018 trends of school web design.
The key components of a school website
To make your school website complete and perfect in 2018, you need the following key components.
- Unique and eye catching design
- Ofsted requirements (Download a checklist here.)
- GDPR compliance
- Responsive mobile friendly web pages
- Search engine optimisation (SEO)
- Contact page with an email form
- Map showing your location
- Availability and Booking system
- High quality hosting
Each website is unique, but the successful ones generally follow a winning formula that contains the above elements.
Directing visitors towards the most important bits
Understanding influential visual cues will allow you to come up with a persuasive design that guides parents’ eye flow for maximum conversions.
Start with prioritising your website goals for a good visual hierarchy. List key points that visitors want to see on the school website. Then, prioritise and arrange them according to their visual importance.
You can use two types of directional cues to help you direct visitors towards the most important bits. Explicit cues take the form of arrows or lines while implicit cues use imagery to subtly direct your prospect’s gaze.
The principle of contrast
Contrast is defined as the difference between two or more elements. It creates visual interest and directs the attention of the user. Here’s an example of a school website that uses contrast.
If all of the elements on a school web page were the same in style and appearance there would be no organisation or hierarchy and the content would be nearly impossible to digest.
This makes contrast an essential part of effective school web design. It takes practice to learn and create the right amount of contrast in your designs but you can start by studying the work of talented designers to see how they use contrast.
Use User Stories to Build Your Website
A user story is a very short story – usually, about one sentence long, that describes something that the user wants to accomplish by using a service.
A good user story should be simple, engaging and accessible to a range of audiences, for example, young parents to old parents.
Stories can be written, drawn, spoken, or recorded. They are a powerful tool throughout multiple stages of the design process and can help persuade your audience.
Less can sometimes be more
Minimal web design doesn’t compromise your creative cutting edge. Your website doesn’t have to be too cluttered or glossy.
Visitors value a minimalist interface when navigating your school website as well as your social media pages.
Apply minimalist principles to make your school web design attractive and effective with fewer elements, simplifying and improving users’ online interactions. Check out examples here.
Implementing psychological motivators
Having a complete understanding of your audience will help you trigger the desired behaviour and increase enrollment.
There are some motivating factors that drive behaviour or key interactions on your school website. For example, the motivation analysis of your audience might reveal that parents in your area are curious, young and intelligent.
Be smart and create relevant content for your audience on your website. This is how you will convince them to choose your school over other schools in the area.
Responsiveness is key to a conversion centered design
Responsive school web design is the approach that suggests that design and development should respond to the user’s behaviour and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation.
As the spectrum of screen sizes and resolutions is widening every day, creating a different version of a school website that targets each individual device is not practical. The solution is a responsive web design for your school.
The number of users web browsing on mobile devices increases by 25% every year and mobile is the number one choice of device for accessing the Internet and social media.
With a responsive school web design, you will enable people using multiple devices (smartphones, tablets, desktops) to view your website properly.
Try before you buy
There are many school web design providers that allow schools to test out websites for free before deciding whether they want to pay for them. With School Jotter, you can start a free trial for 15 days!
Buying a website before trying it can be a big mistake that will affect your budget and the school community.
If you are after an outstanding school website, Webanywhere can help you using our School Jotter website builder. Join over 4,000 schools in the UK that use School Jotter websites, mobile apps and educational software.