- Software Updates & Tips
Finalsite celebrated its 20th anniversary at Finalsite University in Chicago earlier this year, which made it the perfect opportunity for us to look back to where we started, what we’ve built together with the schools that form our foundation, and what we hope to accomplish in the years to come.
We commemorated our journey back in time and glimpse into the future with the creation of the Double Diamond Awards. Focused entirely on the schools we work with, the awards shined a light on the amazing work our school webmasters put into their websites every day to create compelling content and make the most of Finalsite modules and tools; but it was also meant to inspire all school professionals to take their websites in new directions, try new ideas, and explore different ways to use Finalsite’s communications tools and modules.
The 2019 Double Diamond Awards included 128 nominations, 47 finalists, and 12 winners in its first year, but in this blog, we’ll be focusing on the Posts category. The Posts category was flooded with strong competition, including great student content, visual representations of ways donations can have a tangible effect, and even puppies (who doesn’t love puppies?!)—but Seattle Preparatory School was the clear winner for this year’s Posts Award!
Seattle Preparatory School
Seattle Preparatory School crafted a beautiful digital interpretation of the common paper and plastic advent calendars one can find during the holiday season. But even in the middle of summer, the attention-grabbing student artwork, incredible design, and engaging presentation makes this calendar-styled blog one of our go-to examples we at Finalsite regularly visit for creative inspiration.
This advent calendar is deceptively simple at first glance. While the main calendar is a basic grid of thumbnail images, and each interior is a simple arrangement of images and text, the day-to-day progression was fully automated so each new colorful entry in the calendar replaced the placeholder image at midnight during the 25-day duration.
Seattle Prep perfectly captured the act of opening the “door” of each new date on a physical advent calendar to get to the candy and bible verse or prayer inside. This interpretation provides visitors with a larger version of the thumbnail image, artwork credit, the date, that day’s Bible readings, and a short bio of the person who uploaded that day’s post. Convenient links to other days are provided through the same thumbnails on the left side of the post.
Download our datasheet on Posts to learn how your school can create pages like these!
Dogs, cats, and chickens. What more do we need to say here? Peddie School’s Teacher’s Pet page is the perfect combination of a simple Posts layout combined with the worldwide appeal of adorable pets to create authentic content that goes a long way in humanizing the school and the people that work there (and the pets they love!).
Click each thumbnail image and you’re greeted with an adorable image of a staff pet, along with supplementary information such as the pet’s name, owners, time and favorite spot on campus, and what the pet is thinking with some creative liberties. Just look at that very good boy below: how can you not immediately love each of these pets?
As UK Production Manager Kealan Duffy explains, “Simple, but delightfully quirky, fun, and memorable. I think content like this is important -- it humanizes the school, which makes it more welcoming and relatable to prospective families. It also helps Peddie stand out from competitors by conveying an authentic sense of the school's community in a creative way.”
St. Mark’s School
St. Mark’s School used Posts to display their student’s artwork, photography, poetry, and prose in a simple, yet elegant, side-by-side layout that closely mirrors what one might expect from a digital publication. Their publication-inspired page even includes a “Categories” and “Students Featured” filter so visitors can quickly pick and choose the content they want to see.
As Lauren Lentini, Finalsite’s product education specialist, explains, “This is a great publication, and they're not even using Publications! I was on my school's literary magazine in college, and this looks and feels exactly like one if you just scroll through it. Or you can filter it, and it becomes something modern. The navigation is great too, with the archive and the staff bios. And I'm sure it takes much less time to do than it did with QuarkXPress!”
The Stanley Clark School
The Stanley Clark School has increased donations from families and alumni by providing an interactive “2018-19 Clark Fund Giving Catalog” where visitors can filter through categories and donation tiers to see how their donations will be spent.
For example, if a potential donor is hesitant to donate because they feel their $25 donation may not make a big difference, they can use the filters to see that their donation can be used to purchase an alumni t-shirt, nearly two alumni college care packages, or an athletic equipment package. Regardless of the amount of money someone has to donate, Stanley Clark’s Giving Catalog perfectly shows how and where donations are used.
As Kealan explains, “This is a fantastic use of Posts to make the exploration of giving opportunities easy and engaging. The choice of filters and post summary content serves the visitor’s needs really well and makes accessing the information a clear and positive experience. These qualities are so important when encouraging visitors to give, and Posts has been central to its success.”
While we highlighted the winner and three runner-ups for our Posts award, we’ve just barely scratched the surface on the dozens of Posts nominations. We were blown away by the sheer amount of creativity, ingenuity, and Posts mastery we saw on display as the Posts nominations trickled in. We cannot wait to see what schools submit next year for our second annual Double Diamond Awards Show during Finalsite University 2020 next March in Orlando, Florida.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As Finalsite’s Product Marketing Specialist, Andrew writes blogs and creates videos to share information about all the latest and greatest Finalsite products. Andrew has more than 10 years of video production experience and a journalism degree from the University of South Carolina. He has an incredible passion for movies, television, reading, and writing fantasy and science-fiction.
- Double Diamond Awards