We often perceive education as only the source of knowledge and skills. To do something well, you need to go to school – that kind of stuff. However, schools are also a type of business. Education is a service provided for payment, right? To function it needs to be presented, promoted and advertised among potential customers. The best place for it nowadays is the internet, so you won’t do well without a website. One of the essential elements to pay attention to is design.

Importance of education website design

To do a good job creating a website, it’s always useful to pay attention to all the elements, including school web designs. A good image is half the work in this case. However, the design is not only about look, but also about feeling and the overall user experience.

Educational websites are used by many different types of people, such as future students, current students, professors, parents, job seekers, those who want to get a new profession, etc. It’s hard to say exactly who the target audience is in this case, at least hard to make it narrow. It makes a website design for school quite an interesting task.

Designers often do an awesome job, but when it comes to college website designs, many of them get stuck. The task is to satisfy all the needs arising: to tell students about news, to persuade parents that it’s a trusted institution, to introduce new programs that can be potentially interesting for high school children.

All the sections should be balanced, and everything should be well-organized so users can easily find everything they need. Not many design companies actually work with school websites designs. However, those who do, have specialists who know what they’re doing.

Below we will introduce some tips and tricks that might help you with understanding the general tendencies of the industry. This way you’ll know what to pay attention to when you plan a website in education.

How to make university website designs stand out

There are many details to concentrate on; however, we will only pay attention to some that are not so popular. By now just about everybody knows that each landing page has to have call-to-action, that color scheme should be balanced, and that responsive design for smartphones is an absolute must. The list of obvious advice is quite long, but we will try to come up with something more original and less mainstream.

1. Minimalism is not your best friend here

For the past several years, you could hear a lot about minimalism of the websites and how people appreciate it. Of course, they do. However, when you look for information, you need more data. You don’t want to scroll a half-empty page till forever. You don’t want to see program descriptions shortened to fifteen words. You don’t want to see only one picture of the campus and the suggestion to “join us right now”.

What you want is data, course schedules, potential jobs where you can work during or after graduating, and detailed descriptions of each subject. That is something that can actually sell a program to potential customers who consider studying there. Try to let them right away that on your website they will find everything to help them make an important decision.

2. Build information hierarchies

This tip naturally follows the previous one. With crazy volumes of data, it’s essential to organize it better than anywhere else. The best university website design is the one that provides access to well-structured information. If the educational institution can make it for its website, then it’s likely to be able to make it for the whole educational process.

Make sure that all the important sections are accessible from the homepage. It might sound easy, but organizing information for a college or university is a big task. Not only the designer should be involved, but also somebody who knows well how all the info should be grouped and positioned within the structure of the website. It’s essential  not to overload, but at the same time, you need to provide potential customers with all they really need.

3. Use videos with actual information

Many people prefer visual materials over traditional texts. While you shouldn’t completely eliminate text copy from the website, some information can be transmitted through videos. Instead of pages of letters, make one video with all the essential details and make sure people understand what they will find there. However, remember that not everybody will enjoy it so leave an option of downloading the brochure with written information or something of this sort.

What can be shown in a video:

  • Campus tour
  • Program presentation
  • Details of getting a degree
  • Course description
  • Student experiences
  • Library demonstration
  • First day in school

Also, videos can be great for creating emotional content. For example, show how nicely teachers interact with students. Demonstrate cool places on campus or beautiful areas in the college backyard. Let current students make a video for potential newcomers telling why they advise this or that college or university. There is a great number of scenarios you can use for the educational website design.

4. Keep it Agile

In-demand programs or events change quite fast, and your website needs to be ready for all the changes. Top interesting stories about learning are to be represented in various manners to not make it boring for readers. It means a lot of testing and optimization to figure out which information layout works better. Also, it might be a good idea to feature materials on pages designed particularly for these materials.

If it’s not a college or university website, but just any teaching website design, the ideas remain the same. Trends change fast, but the audience should stay engaged. Don’t lose people because the approach of other websites become simpler. Simply always be ready to rearrange the information in your design frame.

5. Make it for everybody

Nowadays, most educational institutions accept students from around the world. It means that people of different cultures and backgrounds research those websites and aim at finding the required information. Providing service and wanting people to buy it, colleges and universities have to do a very good job persuading their potential customers. Education fees are quite high, which means that credibility has to be on a top level as well.

In design, it means that different factors are to be considered. For example, there should always be an English version of a website in addition to a local language one. Also, some information might be provided in two different ways – for local students and for internationals. It might give a website competitive advantage on an international arena.

5 best school website design examples

In this section of the article you will find five examples of web design for education that might bring you some inspiration. Just check them out and see how some tips and tricks are being utilized by some colleges and universities.

Washtenaw Community College

This is an interesting example of structuring information. Users coming to the website are mostly interested in the academics, programs, activities, and other useful information. They can find everything in a matter of minutes.

Douglas College

Nicely designed, this website is the main touchpoint for international students. Here you can see the balance between nice graphics and a good representation of information. No doubt, users can easily find whatever they are looking for without feeling overwhelmed.

Evangel University

Interesting approach to using graphics on a university website. Overall, it looks like a nice template that was used as is. However, everything is clear, and the information is nicely organized. No doubt users find what they are coming for.

Bridgewater State University

The somewhat unusual color scheme makes this university website stand out. The next thing you see is a navigation system of different levels. It seems like everything is right there on the home page. You can research programs for future studies or pay your bill right on the spot.

Associated Students Inc, Sacramento State

This website’s designers seem to have used all the trends that are actually in the modern world. There are videos, good pictures, well-structured information, and clear navigation. Whether it’s overcrowded or not, each user can decide themselves. However, everything that needs to be on the website is right there.

Final Thoughts

Any specific designs can be tricky, but don’t let yourself be scared of that. Any college or university you can find online has overcome all the problems. We hope that reading this article you’ve got some valuable school website design ideas. However, if you feel you’d like to get more tips or even order a custom design, let us know at Fireart.studio. We’ll be glad to help you!