Darlington School’s website, www.darlingtonschool.org, has a fresh new look. The mobile-first site, which launched this afternoon, is a complete overhaul, including streamlined navigation, new content and more.
“We know that the website plays an integral role in every family’s path to Darlington, so our goals were two-fold,” said Tannika King, director of communications. “First, to build a mobile-first site with a more modern look and messaging that resonates with students, and second, to improve the user experience by organizing our content more effectively and defining clearer, more efficient pathways that convert visitors to prospective students. We are confident that we have delivered on both.”
Highlights of the new site include responsive design; larger, more dramatic visuals; student and faculty spotlight videos; a new “Explore” section to help prospective students get a feel for life at Darlington; content broken out by grade level for ease of navigation; a brand-new virtual campus tour; and more.
“The website does a great job telling the story of Darlington,” said Head of School Brent Bell. “We are a school that offers day and boarding students personalized academic and extracurricular opportunities – led by teachers and staff who are exceptionally accessible and encouraging – so that each can graduate with the confidence, connections, and compassion they need to succeed in college and their career, and be meaningful contributors to the greater good. We feel like this message comes across succinctly through the new site.”
“I really enjoy the simplicity of Darlington’s new website and the ease of use,” said junior Alexander Greene. “Compared to the past website, it’s much easier to find information. The design is much more professional and updated. My favorite feature is the new virtual tour because this is very important in the admission process.”
After spending a year working on research and brand messaging with Atlanta firms Jackson Spalding and The Bantam Group, Darlington partnered with web development specialists from Red Clay Interactive out of Buford, Ga., on the design and overall tone of the new website.
“Red Clay took the time to really get to know Darlington, delivering design concepts that communicate our story – and, more importantly, the value of a Darlington education – in a more modern and visual way,” said King. “We have involved faculty, students, parents, and alumni all along the way, and have appreciated their eagerness to engage in and provide feedback during the process.”
The majority of the site build was handled in house by the school’s communication and information technology teams, who wrote more than 200,000 lines of code and content during the sixth-month buildout. Students from Darlington’s Upper School Design Thinking and middle grades Creative Technologies classes participated in focus groups during the prototyping phase and beta site rollout.
“The new Darlington website is so versatile, and it’s amazing that people here are the ones who made it,” said eighth-grader Anaya Desai. “I love the new, modern feel to the whole website, and how it revolves more around the students.”
“Darlington is unique in that we have a completely custom website,” said Stefan Eady, assistant head of school for academic resources. “This has allowed us to build a very robust site with features that are tailored to meet the specific needs of our school community. It was important to us that we maintain the site’s functionality while modernizing the look and feel in order to create an exceptional experience for our users.”
The intranet portion of the website, which includes internal features like the gradebook and student records, will be part of phase two of the site’s redesign.
“I think the thing that I love most about the new website is that it still has everything the old website has, but certain features have been updated,” said ninth-grader Stephanie Hughes. “One thing that really sticks out to me is the calendar. I love how you can look at events that specifically relate to one category or division. Overall, I think the new website looks great and I'm excited for the launch!”
Eighth-grader Shriya Garg agreed.
“I love the new Darlington website!” said Garg. “Not only does it represent our motto of ‘Wisdom more than knowledge, service beyond self, and honor above everything,’ but it also demonstrates and exemplifies this at its very foundation. An example of this is the student spotlight where existing classmates are featured and recognized for their thoughts and actions. This recognizes students in day-to-day life leading with our motto in real time. It is user-friendly and very easy to navigate! Everything you need to know about Darlington is just at the click of a button! I love it!”