Website design is a constantly evolving entity, meaning that any industry engaging with the Internet needs to constantly evolve as well. Keeping abreast with the top web design trends for websites is vital for any school that wishes to engage with parents and pupils alike. And there are a variety of disruptive technologies available that make it possible for any school website to be truly inspiring.
One of the innovations that is particularly impacting on school website design is that of drone technology. This enables some spectacular videos to be produced, and at a pretty affordable price point. With commercial drones now able to carry HD, and even 4K, cameras, the ability to fly over inaccessible areas and capture spectacular photographs and videos has become entirely viable.
There are now millions of drone aircraft in circulation, and footage captured from them is becoming extremely popular. By embracing the drone revolution, schools are able to tap into the technology zeitgeist, making their websites far more attractive to young people in particular. Drone footage really can be an excellent way of grabbing attention, and firing visitors’ imaginations.
Customising websites in order to deliver individual experiences can also be an effective way of standing out from the crowd. It is always worth bearing in mind that there is a potentially wide range of users of all educational websites, with teachers, students, parents and administrators all interested parties.
As each of these groups will require completely different information from your website, the argument for customisation becomes more compelling. Personalising content to satisfy the needs of a particular group is an effective way of making people feel valued when they access your webpage. Extracting user profile data, and personalising content within sections, are both valid ways of achieving this goal.
Speaking of engagement, using videos is also to be recommended. So much can be done with online video sharing nowadays, and it is even possible for schools to generate a significant presence on sites such as YouTube. Videos can help to deliver such content as the headmaster or headmistress introducing the school, various key teachers providing information on their departments, alumni giving testimonials, and current students providing their views on learning as well.
Providing video material can be a highly effective way of reaching people, and establishing a video platform can also help to make use of the drone footage suggested previously.
And you capture attention and imagination further still by embracing the disruptive trend of virtual reality. VR is establishing itself via video games platforms such as Oculus Rift and the PlayStation VR project, and will soon be widely available for other businesses as well. Virtual reality will be able to provide a unique insight into facilities across any educational establishment, placing people at home right in the midst of the school.
This form of technology will particularly resonate with young people, especially as it becomes more widely available. Although virtual reality has yet to truly land in the mainstream, this is expected to occur over the next few years. And it would be advisable for schools to embrace this innovation now, in order to get ahead of the curve.
Photographs and Images
Quality photography should also be an absolute priority for all school websites. This is arguably the most important part of any site, as delivering striking images will really have an impact on the initial impression of parents and potential pupils. While video material and text both has its place, it is really imagery that will create that all important first impression, and this is why it should be produced diligently.
Thus, most schools will benefit from having a professional photographer create the imagery to appear on their website. While it is certainly possible to create high quality photography with commercially available cameras, a professional photographer will have a better quality of equipment, and, of course, much more experience with producing photographs.
Photography can be used to showcase the exterior of a school, along with the interior settings as well. Pictures really have an impact on how people feel or think about a particular subject, and photography really represents an opportunity to influence your potential audience. You can also create a pleasing video impression by using techniques such as slideshows and carousels, in order to really grab the attention of visitors.
It is also important to use a suitable content management framework when designing and maintaining your website. Drupal has become a popular choice, being used by Harvard University, University of Yale, Stanford Law School, and Oxford University. However, this system isn’t ubiquitous, and there are plenty of others available that may better suit your particular institution.
But content management systems certainly shouldn’t be ignored, as they enable responsive school website designs and multi-site functionality to be implemented more easily. They also enable schools to control and manage the publication of workflow more easily, while exceptional content and user access control is also a requisite feature. Such systems can also make it easier to launch email and social media campaigns.
Progressive Mobile Applications
Finally, it is advisable for schools to embrace the mobile revolution. Combining your website with progressive mobile applications can really help garner attention, and particularly capture the imagination of young people. All schools should be looking at a multi-faceted approach when engaging with their potential audience, as this will allow them to cover the most bases possible.
The possibilities with school website design are always growing broader and more impressive, and it is important for schools to keep up with the latest trends, in order to ensure that they are not left behind. Standing still is simply not an option in this highly technological age, so keeping your finger on the pulse is absolutely essential if you wish to ensure that your school website creates a favourable impression with your audience.