Wellington Girl’s College have launched their new website … and I’m excited!!
User research and recommendations
I had the pleasure of working with Wellington Girl’s College earlier this year. They were redeveloping their website and my role was to do user research with the school community (to understand their digital communications needs) and make some recommendations for how to present and structure the new website.
A functional Home page but not a true reflection of the school’s progressive culture.
The original site structure
The original site structure comprised two main sites (external promotion and internal school hub) and some smaller sites with more specific audiences and a more focused purpose (eg, international students, school sports and wellbeing).
The main sites were also ‘portals’ for information provided by various back-end systems (ie, the learning management system, G Suite for Education, Google Drive and the student attendance and achievement tracking system).
So, in this complex web (excuse the pun) of digital content it can be difficult to get your head around how it can be organised in a user-friendly way. As well as take the opportunity to trim the content ‘fat’.
We started with defining the purpose of the sites, the key audiences and their key tasks.
For WGC the key audiences are:
future local community – students, parents and staff
future international community – students and parents
So quite a mix of people with different information needs.
When researching the key tasks for each audience we discovered some interesting cross over and insights. For example, many students logged into the Parent portal to view their timetable. This was because the ‘Attendance’ calendar functionality provided a good overview of their schedules.
Finding term dates and enrolment information, accessing online tools and reading the news feeds where all very popular tasks.
A more user-focused Home page that’s engaging and inviting!
Now I believe Wellington Girl’s College have a website to be proud of and that meets the needs of their school community.
The design and development work was done in house so congratulations to all involved!
Of course, a website is not static but a ‘living tool’ so changes and refinements are inevitable and necessary. However, doing the needs analysis and community engagement work up front has set the school up well for a bright online future.
If you’re interested in learning more about the school, check out the new website – https://wgc.school.nz/.