3 Most Common School Website Mistakes

In the last couple of years at SchoolPad, we have visited a handful of School websites as a part of our exercise that we do before connecting with Schools.  During this exercise we browsed through various sections of these websites in pursuit of knowing these Schools better.

While browsing through, we found places which were stuffed with content that didn’t fit aesthetically and was simply hampering the experience by adding to the complexity and clutter. What disturbed us more was the fact that as we browsed through more websites we found these mistakes repeated often and hence this encouraged us to come up with this write up to help Schools find these mistakes and fix them in the best possible ways.

Let’s start with what a School website is usually meant for. In simple terms, School website is a face or a Projection of the School to the public and more specifically the Parents who could be looking for a School to enroll their children in.

A website helps Parents get an insight into the School which then becomes a good reference point for comparison. What that means is a School website should clearly bring forward all the information that a Parent requires to compare and find the best fit for his/her child and this is where the problem begins when it starts getting stuffed.

  1. Classroom related data being shared on School website: This was the most frequent practice that we came across. Schools were sharing classroom related data like Notices, Homework, Attendance, Marks etc. that had nothing to do with Parents who were trying to find information about the School. Also because this kind of information kept increasing, we found a lot of sites which had a good number of pages that were filled with so much information that was simply adding to the clutter and complexity thus diluting the purpose of the whole website.

    A suggestion here for Schools would be to use communication tools which could help them distribute the right data to the right parent. This would also ensure that Parents are kept informed and at the same time it’s easier for them to consume information about their child instead of seeing everything about everybody, which has no meaning.

    School Homework

  2. Overloaded Picture Gallery: The purpose of a picture gallery on the School website is to crisply display the best photographs that could excite Parents looking to enroll their children. No body has the time to browse through hundreds and thousands of photographs because that’s not the intent here. On the other hand we also saw that most of the sites were not even ready to handle such loads because of which they were extremely slow. This is even more dangerous because the bad experience could simply force the Parent to quit the website.School Image Gallery
  3. Heavy Flash Intros: Gone are the days when flash intros were preferred because now days there are lot of other ways to bring out your message more crisply and attractively without affecting the overall experience.  Flash intros are slow and if people are not even ready to wait for them to load and are just waiting to click the skip intro link, why have them.School Website Intro

Browsing a School website should be a delightful experience. The website has a purpose to solve and stuffing it to make it do everything will just hamper the experience and could send the wrong message to the real audience. Keep it simple, crisp and clean because it could even be your first impression in a lot of cases and hence could prove to be a differentiator.