Two Websites in One
Architects For Learning needed a new website that clearly separated the two sides of their business. The idea was that the user would select from the home page whether they needed information as a student/parent or a school administrator/teacher. From that point you would be taken to the landing page of the section you chose and could start to navigate the website. Every part of the website would have the same layout and feel, but the content would be unique depending on which section you chose.
The home page was kept simple by including a large background photo, the website’s title, and two main buttons. These buttons would allow the user to select which section they wanted to navigate. In order to switch sections, the user would need to go back to the home page and select the other button.
Combining Content and Photos
There was a clear vision for the layout of the website which made it a challenge to program. This was something that we thoroughly enjoyed, as our team always welcomes a challenge. The designer had many ideas that included photos to go along with the text on each page. That in itself is not difficult, in fact it is seen on the majority of websites that you visit. What made it different in this case was that the photos were being displayed as a background. The text was either shown above the photo, or could be seen stopping just before. Detailed photo editing was done in order to make sure that the photos did not distract from the content on the page. At the same time, we needed to be sure that the photos were not overshadowed so that they could convey the message that was intended. Due to the complexity of this design, the content was fixed. If it were to drastically change, it would not line up with the photos and would require additional editing.
Placement Over Functionality
Normally our goal is to create a website that will allow our clients easy access to edit content however they wish. In this case we had to ignore that all together. This was in order to make sure the content was placed correctly on the page and lined up with the correct background photos. The use of font sizes and spacing were extremely delicate on this website, and we had to pay extra attention to even the tiniest detail.
In the end we were able to accomplish what the designer had envisioned while still giving the client access to the content in case they needed to make edits themselves.
It was important for users to easily signup for the newsletter. We made sure it stood out on the home page and on all other interior pages of the web site.