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Why specialist design is important for school websites

The importance of a website has drastically increased for a range of industries within recent years, with no exception to the education sector. The way we communicate has continued to grow, with advances in mobile technology and a greater dependence on online services, the Internet has become a necessity for most people as their primary source of information.

Schools are able to use the Internet as an engagement tool with pupils, with information conveyed to both students and parents in an accessible format. A schools brand can also be enhanced with an appealing, easy-to-use website. An online presence is crucial in creating awareness to prospective students, generating interest in the school. This brand awareness is increased with support material such as a prospectus using the same design.

With a wide audience range of pupils, parents and teachers, the design, layout and functionality must be taken into account for each user group. Students have to be engaged and interested in the information available to them on the website, whether this is the latest school news, sport team updates or revision class timetables, high quality images should be used throughout to grab their attention. Parents are likely to look for ‘dates for the diary’ and require easy navigation around the site – particularly when first applying to a school. Having a clear understanding of the layout of the website will ensure it is useable for all audiences.

The purpose of the website must also be taken into account, the design and structure for a primary school website is likely to have a different look and feel to that of a secondary school website.