It seems strange to talk about “modernizing” our homepage, since Web pages are considered a modern form of marketing and communication. However, it has become clear that trends in sites are leaning toward “less is more” design, that is simple, clean, and easy to navigate.
We have been very proud of our homepage over the last few years. It spoke directly to community concerns that the school district be more transparent with school board news, budget information, and provide accessibility to departments and contact information.
Much of that has been accomplished. Podcasts and school board summaries were instituted and posted with regularity, and budget, levy, and four-day week tabs, as well as many others, provided easy paths to important community information. As well, the homepage provided ways to share ideas and concerns with the school district.
All of those things remain at the district Web portal, but if you have checked the homepage in the last week you may have noticed a much simplified, cleaner look. Many of the informational links along the left side have been moved to appropriate drop-down menus, and those links that are used with great regularity have been placed under the heading “quick links” on the main page.
“District news” will be used to place links to school board meeting information and podcasts, as well as other items important to the community.
A calendar section has a click-able activities calendar and links to other district calendars. Our social networking sites and communication opportunities are located at left with small icons.
Best of all, simplifying the homepage allowed us the space to create a scroll for us to “brag” about all of the great things happening at North Branch Area Public Schools.
As the year progresses, we will be applying similar structures to our school homepages as well, and we hope you find these changes helpful.
Stop on by (www.northbranch.k12.mn.us) and take a look. While you are there, check the scroll at the top of the page for our survey and let us know what you think!