Whether it's the number of AP classes, student to teacher ratio, or the percentage of students accepted to four-year colleges, you most likely already know what makes your school stand out from the crowd. But how simple are you making it to find that information?
The trouble that most schools face today is not figuring out which information is most important to prospective families, but rather, how to display it in a way that's meaningful, impactful, and simple to digest. While many schools are still currently using text-heavy "About Us" pages, 65% of website users are actually visual learners, meaning they respond best to pictures and graphics, not plain text. So, while having 93% of your students graduate and attend four year colleges of their choice is impressive, if that statistic is buried in plain text, you may be losing inquiries and applicants.
Now, if you're someone with a text-heavy site, you're probably wondering what exactly you can do to appeal to these visual learners. Enter infographics: a popular design trend that schools are now using to pack together tons of essential information in a fun, understandable and eye-catching image.
We're seeing lots of schools start using infographics on their home pages, "About Us," pages and "At a Glance" pages in place of plain text. These infographics prove to be more effective than text and add a unique design treatment to any page.
In working with these schools to help them with both the design and content of their infographics, we've noticed three key elements that make an infographic meaningful, impactful, and simple to digest.
1. Use graphics that make sense.
Visual data is processed by the brain 60,000 times faster than text — so you want to be sure that the graphics and text are clear, and correspond with one another. In this example from International Community School in Singapore, there is a clear relationship among the words, numbers and chosen graphics. Each part of the infographic serves a clear purpose, makes sense, and is easy to read. Remember, you want to leave your visitors thinking "wow!" not "what?"
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2. Tell a story.
An infographic is not meant to be a central hub for all of your school's facts. Instead, use it to tell a story about your school and what makes you unique. Make sure all of your statistics are meaningful, related, and will leave a lasting impression on the user. This infographic on the "Facts & Figures" page from Good Shepherd Episcopal School's site does an excellent job of representing who they are as a school by covering faculty, staff, athletic teams and more. See the full infographic here.
Plus, they did something even a little cooler: they incorporated pieces of this infographic on their home page, quickly answering the question "why should I attend?"
3. Integrate with your design.
Want to take your infographic to the next level? Make it a key part of your website's design, so it's one of the first things your site visitors see. For example, Guilford College and Wesleyan School integrated their infographics with their full-scroll homepages. With corresponding design and color treatments, the infographics become part of the site experience, rather than a separate entity.
Does your school have a cool infographic or successful design treatment? Let us know and you could be featured in our next spotlight success story! Or, if you're looking to add an infographic to your current design, let's talk!