Redeveloping an online presence is all about embracing new thinking. It involves testing concepts, scribbling on whiteboards, analysing evidence and exploring ideas in the hopes of finding a better way to do things.
When you think about it, it’s essentially one huge learning process: you familiarise yourself with a new set of goals and then set about adopting techniques in order to achieve them.
So, we were pretty excited to collaborate on a recent website redevelopment with St Catherine’s School. Who better to partner with for an extended learning process than a leading education provider?
As one of the most prestigious girls’ schools in Melbourne, St Catherine’s is dedicated to upholding its reputation for the highest quality. Whether it’s in the classroom or on the web, the school is passionate about creating excellent experiences for past, present and future students.
We raised our hand to help them do exactly that: by redesigning the digital aspect of life at St Catherine’s. In doing so, we built upon an existing partnership of over eight years.
After workshopping our aims for the redevelopment, it became clear we needed to build something that consolidates St Catherines’ position at the forefront of the education community, but wouldn’t feel like a traditional school website.
The solution had to maintain St Catherines’ values and distinctive voice, while refreshing and refining it for the online space. It had to be designed responsively and therefore enable visitors to view content seamlessly on mobile and tablet devices. It required an intuitive content management system for staff, with strong blog capabilities. We wanted to demonstrate that the education experience can be exciting and exceptional. The new site captures the experience of life at St Catherine’s through more dynamic and immersive content. Videos add an element of interactivity and help make informational resources much more engaging.
With bright and bold imagery, the stacked grid layout offers a vibrant snapshot into the school grounds while celebrating the wide-eyed wonder of the students who populate it.
The site also features an interactive campus map highlighting key features and facilities. Videos and image carousels are embedded within dropdown segments that are anchored to specific click-points on the map. With just one touch, people using the site can get a tangible sense of the layout of the school’s impressive grounds while skimming through photo galleries.
Like a good lesson plan, the user interface design offers clear guidance without being overly excessive or prescriptive. It’s clean, intuitive, helpful and simple to navigate. A clearly segmented hierarchy of information funnels users to the right content, faster – whether the visitor is a parent, a staff member, a student, a future student, or alumna.
By catering to that broad spectrum of audiences, the website serves as a window into St Catherines’ history while providing a view as to what’s next. And with more developments already in the works, life at St Catherine’s is set to stay inspiring for the long term.