Completed contest

Winning Designers Required: Engaging Webpage Required for School

Flinders needed a new web page design and created a contest on 99designs.

A winner was selected from 9 designs submitted by 6 freelance designers.

9
entries
6
designers
1
winner

How Flinders started their web page design journey

Company name

Matthew Flinders Anglican College

Overview

Matthew Flinders Anglican College (established in 1990) is a co-educational school in Buderim, Queensland, Australia. Flinders delivers quality education 1200+ students from Preparatory Year to Year 12.

Flinders provides a nurturing environment in which individuals are valued for their specific gifts, and where all students are encouraged to release their potential with a view to being active contributors to the College and the wider community. Building community is a priority across the College.

Flinders has a culture of high achievement, with the College's academic results ensuring it is a top 10 school in Queensland. Flinders students regularly receive international and national recognition in sport and music.

Flinders has cemented its place as a tech-savvy School in the region by moving to a one-to-one lap top program in 2011.

Tell us a bit about who you are and the people you reach

1. Parents of
• current Flinders students
• children approaching primary school age
• children approaching high school age

2. Grandparents – increasing involved in educational decision making for grandchildren

3. We attract international students, specifically families from South Africa, Zimbabwe, UK, New Zealand, Singapore, UAE, Hong Kong

4. Parent profile
• Middle - high income
• Parents 30 -55 years
• Moderate level of Internet sophistication
• Mothers more likely to do initial internet searches regarding education for their child.

Target audience are likely to have their first experience with the College via the website. The internet will be used as a primary tool for gathering information about Flinders and as a way to compare Flinders to our competitors. The website needs to make a clear statement about the College, our culture of high performance in academic, sporting, music and co-curricular pursuits, and our modern approach to educational outcomes.

Parents may be looking to a ‘short list’. For this reason, a strong call to action for the parent to contact the College to source further information / arrange a visit.

Parents need to be able to imagine what it will be like for their child to attend the school, how happy their child would be and what the community experience would be like for them as a parent.

Requirements

• Contrast with competitors – what makes Flinders unique
• Simple to use - easy for users to find what they are looking for and want to come back
• Project an image of Flinders as a technologically savvy educational institution
• Use white space to achieve a simple and pleasing look
• Simple, clean, modern
• Important that the look and feel and messaging does not become elitist

Themes / Keywords
The following themes and keywords represent a target sensibility for the web design and are consistent with recent customer research:
• Quality – academic excellence, co-curricular, opportunities, reputation
• Responsiveness – two-way communication
• Genuine relationships between students, parents and teachers
• Approachable (softer, friendly)
• Simple (clean, easy, not complex or confusing)
• Credible, trustworthy, integrity
• Access and information when needed
• Confidence in delivery

Challenges
Many education publications and websites appear a particular way – heavy with content, defined by information grouped in the way the school sees itself (eg traditional, sand-stone, prestigious) full of photos of children in staged, studious activities. For this reason, a key challenge of the new visual design is to present content and information in a way a customer would look it – by customer segment – who am I and what content am I looking for.

Number of pages

1

Page descriptions

Homepage - an exciting home page which engage current and prospective customers, is easy to use and easy to find the content which they are looking for.

Navigation
Drop down menus and ‘mega-menus’ are preferred. Important front page features include logo, search function, contact details, main menu items, log in, news

Front page to include:
• Main menu - 5 segments - Learning for Life, Admissions, Parents, Student and Old Flinderians (past students). Each of these segments must have the capacity to log in and access information relevant to their relationship with the College.
• Logo
• Search
• Contact details
• Campus map
• Log in
• News
• Upcoming Events – Click for calendar
• The Performance Centre
• Matthew Flinders Foundation

Existing website

http://www.mfac.edu.au
Logo and colours must remain the same.

Flinders desires a website which is clear and easy to use for existing and potential customers; concise in content; gives compelling reasons for acquisition prospects to contact the College; and reconfirms the choice made by existing customers.

Success will be measured by potential and existing customers being able to find accurate and up to date information that they want when they want it. Furthermore, success will be measured by the conversion for first time users to proactively contact the College via email, phone or face to face.

Recent customer research indicated:
• Communications, including website, currently too ‘overwhelming’ due to length, volume of content and inconsistencies in layout. Need to be more concise and compelling.
• They have not been informed of an event or did not receive information even though it was communicated online, suggesting the existing website look/feel/content lacks cut-through.
• Customers are confused / have difficulties finding information they are looking for

Example websites

Site we like the look of http://www.churchie.com.au

What they do that works
• Minimalist content and format
• Segmented by school information, parents, potential parents and old scholars
• Good use of block colours, well-targeted to educational target audience
• ‘Short’ pages which fits onto 1 screen with limited scrolling required
• Easy to locate log-in

St Andrews is a local competitor school
http://www.saac.qld.edu.au

What they do that works
• The feel is that the College is more technology savvy then Flinders
• Functionality to sign up for newsletters online

What they do that doesn't work
• Wasted front page
• Small block photos are too busy and confusing
• Left navigation has too much information for first time user – difficult to know what is relevant to you and your situation
• Long scroll required
• Limited call to action apart from "Contact Us"
• Specific class information does not belong on site – should be in log in section
• Feeling of being overwhelmed by so much information
• Site maps are too small and do not give a feel for the campus
• Needs to be more inviting

Custom package

US$509

Free features

  • Open contest
  • Fast-tracked

Deliverables

PSD
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