How to Design Educational Website That Will Rock in 2021
Education has become accessible more than ever before.
Not only can we connect to our schools and universities online, but enroll in online courses and earn certificates and degrees without ever leaving our houses (which has become especially critical during the pandemic).
While using a good old vanilla chalkboard and grade book is not that bad, it’s rapidly becoming out-of-date, with many educational institutions harnessing the benefits of new technologies, from school administration management software to online learning platforms for kids and adults.
That’s why it is paramount for educational institutions to create a great web design that sets your school apart.
Based on the experience of the Agente team which provides education website design services, we are happy to share our data-driven insights on how to design an educational website that generates value and provide you with the best educational website design examples.
Things to Consider in Educational Website Design
1. Set Up Your Goals
Creating an educational institute website design starts like any other design.
You set up your business objective, define the target audience, and customize the website to achieve your goals.
For example, if you plan to create a website design for schools, you should address both pupils and their parents, who will visit the site.
You’ll need to balance bold and colorful elements with informative content and easy navigation in order to appeal to both target groups.
2. Elaborate on Visuals
Remember our insights about color palettes for website design in one of our blog posts?
And the education industry is no exception.
If you have a brand book for your educational institution, make sure your website colors match the existing scheme to create a homogeneous brand image.
For an e-learning platform, use neutral and convincing colors, for example blue, green, brown.
Highlight essential edtech design elements, such as headers, footers, CTA buttons with other hues matching the color palette.
3. Add Content and Media Elements
The well-structured, consistent, and meaningful copy is half the battle.
Here’s why: a website which combines useful content, and user-friendly elements of web design, will foster trusted long-term relationships with more students.
Media elements make the website more attractive and the learning process more interactive.
However, website design for physical institutions and online learning platforms will differ in their form and content.
Let’s overview the best educational website design features for each of the educational website types.
Features for University/School Website
A good website design for educational institutions should attract new students and guide the existing ones.
The following school website design ideas and features will ensure your site gets a better conversion rate and more visitors who will stay longer:
- University or school hierarch
Show how the faculties, courses, or subjects are arranged. Present the heads of departments, deans, and teachers. Make the site searchable across sections and publications.
- Online timetable
Timetable functionality goes without saying. However, some educational website features are often overlooked. For example, for security, make the timetable available only after the student/teacher logs in. If the university has several buildings or departments across the city, it’s great to pin the studying locations to the map and provide directions.
- Applicant info
Applicants are a vital part of the target audience. Make sure to add some key dates of application and enrollment, including all relevant information. Let the visitors subscribe to notifications about the enrollment flow.
- Live chat
A live chat option throughout the website improves the user experience and helps you to generate leads. Voice interaction or chatbots are gaining more trust among millennial and generation Z users, so consider this option when defining the target audience.
- Virtual tour
Videos, photos, panoramas, or 3D-tours will add to the student engagement and impress potential students, even before they step inside the campus.
If you want to go further in showing how amazing the life inside your university is, shoot some videos around the campus with the help of drones. Then put the videos into the background of some banners, or create a separate section where potential students can watch them. Not only will it show how things are inside your institution, but it will also build trust and add to credibility.
- Customer-oriented CTAs
A direct and clear call to action and application form will show what the institute wants its target visitors to do—apply, take a virtual tour, or subscribe to a newsletter. Many institutions pay no regard to these features, so you have a real chance to stand out.
According to the Emerald research, well-designed gamification elements are well-received by about 85% of students. What is more, gamification elements should not be limited to a video game-like experience but should foster the relatedness and anatomy of the learning process, and ensure better learning outcomes.
As a result, gamification, as an element of education web design, should be contextual and relevant to the user. Four types of players should be considered: killers (20%), achievers (40%), socializers (80%), and explorers (50%) (according to Richard Bartle, who studied gamers). Then, they should be combined with the learner types you have.
This will help choose the most appropriate for your project gamification mechanics:
- Progress bars
- Course currency
- Badges and trophies
- Upgraded avatars
For example, group competition that requires teamwork to complete a task can give the team extra internal currency, reward points, a real-life trophy, etc. Your imagination has no limits.
Features for Online Learning Platforms
E-learning platforms form the other category that requires a different set of functionality for educational web design as they not only represent some institutions, but they are educational institutions themselves.
That’s why the focus is placed on the media elements and learning content.
Let’s see what special features should be used to enrich the functionality of a website for online courses:
- Audio/video streaming
A great way to hold lessons is to create online webinars. Unlike video, they allow learners to ask questions and to receive feedback in real-time. That’s why video streaming, audio, and text-typing functionality is a must.
- Interactive whiteboard
A workspace that contains an interactive whiteboard, where both the teacher and the student can draw, type text, or upload pictures in real-time, adds a gamification element to the working process and improves collaboration. The support of a highlighter, eraser, text zoom in/out, and uploading pictures allows for better learning.
- Personal account
A personal account with an easy and safe login enables users to track progress, save learning materials, and find their mates in order to share their results and communicate with each other. Also, decide on the monetization model your courses will have―free, paid, or a mixed, freemium model. Paid programs will require integration with payment systems or the implementation of in-app currencies.
- Internal messaging system
As far as communication is concerned, it’s great to build an internal chat function for teachers and students to solve all the issues regarding lessons and the learning process in general. As a result, you’ll have a community of students and teachers, which can even be extended to a small social media platform within the educational website. This will increase loyalty and grow the interest of potential learners.
- Mobile compatibility
According to Ambient Insight, the global five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for mobile learning products and services makes 11.3%, and revenues reach $14.5 billion by 2020.
That’s why an educational website can’t do without responsive design or even a separate mobile app with some mobile-only features to expand the mobile audience and involve them in using both platforms.
Source: Uhlberg Advisory
- Rating system
The rating system is another characteristic of the best education websites design. It reminds the users of school grades, which stirs up learners’ interest, as many of them want to be evaluated as they were in school or university. Additionally, the competitive element will encourage motivation among the users and allow them to compare their success with the peers.
After completion of the learning course, the users often want confirmation of their achievement. Take care to create certificates with a credible design, stating the name of the course, user grades, score, or completed level.
4. Get Some Inspiration
Well, it’s not really the next step when thinking over Online educational website design; the inspiration is something that should follow you the whole way through.
Best Website Designs for Education: Real-Life Examples
If you now know how to design a continuing education website, we’ve collected the top examples to illustrate how a well-designed educational website may look like.
Ready to be inspired?
Automation Academy by Workfusion
Source: Agente case
This example is one of the Agente design projects. It lets you focus on the visual component of the website design.
Automation Academy features:
- simple interactive tabs,
- attractive colors and textures,
- quick-access icons.
It all makes this learning platform look welcoming and elegant.
LMS Design for Marketing Courses
Source: Agente case
This project focuses on offering video tutorials for marketing specialists.
The creation of the full-cycle flow of the education process was required, i.e., video lessons, tasks, communication between the teacher and the student, plus assessment.
Duolingo seems more like a game than an educational website, but that’s what attracts users the most.
Interactive lessons and a rating system foster gamification.
A greenish-blue and white color palette with circular icons on the top create a pleasant and minimalist UI.
CHS―High School Website
Source: Agente case
This is another example of a website design for higher education built by the Agente dedicated team.
Accessibility in no more than two clicks was a requirement when creating this website.
So said, so done!
Red is the color of love and romance. Or is it more like vermillion?
That’s what this website aims to achieve―make the Polish language attractive for potential learners, and make Poland attractive for potential visitors.
Bold fonts and creative graphics on a two-colored background are recommended, with a CTA button on the first screen for further exploration of the website.
The pictures of happy students on the main page, university heraldry, and intuitive sections of the website are standard in the best educational institution website design.
Announcements with calls to action in the middle welcome visitors inside to explore the content.
Minimum tabs, diluted colors, and simple fonts help visitors to concentrate on the learning content.
The funny panda logo and structured content help to make users stay.
Video content with welcoming previews plus a simple sidebar menu for better navigation is the ideal UX formula for a generation Z learning website—easily digestible and bright.
Source: Agente case
This project is an e-learning resource for dressmakers, where each video lesson can be purchased individually.
While the fonts and colors were defined by the brand book, we focused on color coding for each main section of the platform to ensure the site’s elegant consistency.
This is one of the examples of educational teacher websites.
The academic teaching website design of this resource can be characterized by the combination of blue and white colors, cleanness, and smooth on-site navigation.
We did our best to get some educational website design inspiration for your next project. Website design takes a lot of time and effort, and your contribution may come to a marketable product with a professional partner.
Ready to give it a start?
Contact Agente today, and we’ll help you design and create an educational website that works for your audience.
Stay tuned for news
Useful articles from our content team right to your inbox!
Is there a challenge your organization or company needs help solving? We’d love to discuss it.