Tip Sheets

Web Navigation Tipsheet

Blackbaud K12 Tip Sheets

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800.443.9441 | solutions@blackbaud.com | www.blackbaud.com September 2020 1 TIP SHEET School Website Navigation Best Practices Private school website visitors (prospective parents, current students, alumni) all come to the site with a singular focus—there's something they want to know. The navigation is their roadmap from inquiry to answer, and the faster they travel from point A to B, the better. In the same way that a beautiful design persuades prospects to apply, poorly constructed navigation serves as a roadblock. The following best-practice tips will help you avoid navigation gridlock so visitors can happily find the information they're after. 1 Don't think outside of the box. Private school navigation is typically similar from school to school, creating a temptation to be different. Many schools with good intentions have tried thematic navigation structures such as "Live," "Learn," and "Play," only to convert back to a standard information architecture due to inevitable usability issues. Here's the thing: Navigation isn't about what you want the user to think or feel about the school—save that for the design, imagery, and copy. In fact, the navigation isn't about the school at all. It's about users and what they want to learn about the school. Understanding this subtle difference will vastly improve navigability. In reality, having a similar navigation structure to a competitor is good. Most admissions prospects will visit both websites, and the familiarity they've established with the navigation will help them quickly find information on your site, building confidence in your school. 2 Start with the school navigation blueprint. The blueprint for K–12 private school navigation looks like this: Admissions, About, Academics, Programs, and Giving. Admissions is listed before About because Google prioritizes from a BY DAREN WORCESTER, Content Marketing Manager, Blackbaud K–12

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