Creating school websites with SharePoint part 3. Creating beautiful ‘non-sharepointy’ looking sites.
One of the real challenges with SharePoint is how do you make it look beautiful like many normal websites? This is an area we wanted to develop and the decision to make a new, more visual and edgy site to engage older teenagers in June 2009 gave us an opportunity. As with our main site the 6th form site was designed by an external agency but this time there was a greater focus on working with our existing A-level students to find out what would appeal to them. The results are shown below and the site can be found at www.twynham6thform.com
The site is far from traditional with a top and bottom navigation with a large central zone for high quality visual images. These images rotate in a loop covering the key areas shown in the bottom navigation. The top navigation is largely administrative, allowing students to book open mornings, request prospectuses and most importantly apply to the sixth form.
The main engine of the 6th Form website is the subject areas which allow students to make decisions on their A-level choices. The start of the process is the carousel shown below which displays the subject list visually.