Use Infographics to Tell a Better Story on Your School's Website
Mia Major

This blog has been updated since its original publishing in April 2016.

It’s hard to come across a website these days that doesn’t have an infographic. They began trending back in 2015 — and since then have become a design staple for independent, public, international and charter schools alike. Big, bold numbers and icons “look cool” and can help you display your school’s differentiators in an easy-to-digest format that also looks great on mobile. What a trifecta! 

Great infographics are more than just a compilation of random numbers. They tell a story, create meaning, and highlight the most special aspects of your school in a logical, visually appealing layout.

Why use infographics?

Today, we all have information overload. From exploding email inboxes to “doom scrolling” on social media, we spend a large chunk of our day just consuming content. The amount of content we consume has driven consumer behavior in the direction of scanning content, not reading it. Today’s website visitors — especially those coming from mobile devices — want content to be short, easy-to-scan, and visually engaging. Infographics help you achieve all of this.

There’s science supporting the effectiveness of infographics, too:

  • 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual
  • Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text
  • 40% of people will respond better to visual information than text
  • People remember 80% of what they see and do, and only 20% of what they hear

In short — when you use an infographic, the content within it is more likely to be seen, engaged with, and even remembered. For this reason, it’s important to use infographics to display some of your school’s most important data, attributes, and differentiators.

Here are a few ways you can use and integrate infographics on your school's website to make the most out of the power of infographics.

Website Redesign Playbook

Ditch the bulleted “Facts & Figures” list.

Visit almost any school website and you'll stumble upon a Facts & Figures page. The page, in most cases, will consist of 10-20 statistics about the school — when it was founded, enrollment, number of AP classes, etc. But even if the statistics are impressive (which in most cases, they always are), they often get overlooked or forgotten because they're formatted as a list of bullet points.

Your school is so much better than a bulleted list.

Follow suit with Thayer Academy, which takes an oh-so-bold approach by using organized and color-coded infographics on their Facts & Figures page.

Thayer Academy Fast Facts

With 40+ stats about their community, academics, arts, athletics, and facilities, it's easy to find and digest the vast amount of impressive information about the school. Most importantly, Thayer uses this opportunity to make their value easy to remember. From noting ample transportation and financial aid to boasting AP exams taken and their large alumni community, Thayer makes a pretty hard-to-resist value proposition using infographics alone.

Park Hill School By the Numbers

Park Hill School District’s By the Numbers page uses big, bold, and colorful icons to drive home some impressive stats about their schools, teachers, and surrounding communities. The additional text below the iconography expands into detail about tax rates, scholarship information, approval ratings, and even graduate earnings— all of which present a convincing case for families considering joining their district.

Blair Academy takes the same approach with what seems like an endless scroll of spectacular fast facts on their At-a-Glance page. With every stat from 21 dogs on campus and 40 faculty kids to 163 logs on their annual bonfire, they’ve got all aspects of campus life covered with colorful panels and infographics. 👍

Blair Academy At a Glance

For your own school's website: Think about every statistic that sets you apart. Then, organize them into lists by category. Once you have 5-6 statistics per category, you're ready to transform them into an infographic.

Declutter interior pages and organize information.

Orange County Health Resources

Like many other school districts, Orange Unified School District in California has a lot of updates and information to share as part of its health and safety guidelines this fall. In this instance, organizing and incorporating icons into their health and safety planning with accordions presents the information in a digestible way. The design helps communicate the sections and compartmentalize the information that would be overwhelming if it were presented as paragraph after paragraph of text. The icons also assist non-English speaking families who are looking for information; a strategy that complements the Spanish translations found on their site.

Create a captivating homepage.

You only get one chance to make a first impression, so use an infographic to help make it a good one! Infographics are commonly used as a panel on a school's homepage as a way to display some facts and figures, as well as add some variety to the homepage. Since people remember visuals better than text, you'll be able to capitalize on first-time website visitors looking to learn more about your school.

Bede's Prep homepage infographic

Here is a great example from Bede’s Prep. The interactive panel pairs icons with standout stats (75 different species of animal in their school zoo?!?) right on its homepage. The design is a unique approach that surely makes you stop scrolling and begin to explore.

Laguna Beach Unified School District in California uses infographics on the district homepage and individual school pages to highlight district-level and school-level differentiators.

Laguna Beach Unified School District

By limiting the number of stats in the infographic to four, website visitors aren’t overwhelmed by an overload of data, but rather a showcase of what matters most — such as being the #1 school district in Orange County.

Thurston School Fast Facts

Stevenson High School, a top public high school in the U.S. also relies on an interactive infographic on their homepage to display the stats that make up a top school.

Stevenson High School

Use them to drive a conversion.

Any engaging piece of content placed on your website that doesn't initiate the next step is a wasted opportunity. Adding infographics to your website landing pages — such as an inquiry or open house registration — can help drive conversions.

Chadwick School infographic

Chadwick School uses infographics on its admission page to convert families at a critical stage of the funnel. It’s an effective strategy because just as families are a click away from inquiring, they’re met with stats about enrollment numbers, financial aid budgets, the percentage of students receiving financial aid, and the number of communities represented — all important factors that are top of mind for families who are considering inquiring.

For your own school's website: Consider what special programs or academics you offer that would entice prospective families to learn more. Then, feature those on your homepage — and always use a call to action to guide website visitors down the path to inquire or apply.

Describe one of your school's programs.

Education is all about the evolution of a student. And sometimes, it's hard to translate that to a website because it is so complex, and in many cases, extremely individualized.

Maret School's Curriculum Overview

However, Maret School’s curriculum overview uses easy-to-understand iconography that visualizes their academic offerings and simplifies the search. Visitors can browse and filter their curriculum by division, department, or course, and it looks great on mobile, too. A quick tap and users can read more about a particular subject area.

These infographics are effective because, as a parent, the curriculum becomes extremely easy to research, and it's plain to see how well-rounded and experienced students become.

Try this technique with other areas of programming or offices, too. Park School, for example, uses a batch of icons to supplement their Financial Aid information. Since most tuition and financial aid pages are laden with tuition price tags, application deadlines, and links to aid forms, consider using infographics to make “cents” of the key concepts and drive home important stats.

Park School Financial Aid by the Numbers

For your own school's website: Think about what programs your school offers that are special to you — and how you can use an infographic to detail that journey. Sometimes STEM, language, and other signature programs are slightly more complex than a sentence or two.

Harpeth Hall's Athletic Department stats

Harpeth Hall’s athletic page also takes this approach, and while each individual stat and icon about the sports teams and facilities are impressive, their collection works toward setting their athletic department (and Honeybear Nation) apart. The presentation of statistics tells a story about the school’s commitment to its athletic program and its support of student-athletes.

Montclair Kimberley Academy in New Jersey makes a similar effort. The school's website features this bold and colorful infographic on their homepage, introducing some of the school's most outstanding and unique stats (like 16+ varieties of fresh veggies harvested and enjoyed by students):

Monclair Kimberley Academy fast facts

But they also use this same style on each of their landing pages for Admissions, Academics, and Supporting MKA. Their Academics page repeats the 100% figure with icons to drive home the idea that their innovative teaching and academic programming provides a best-in-class experience.

Monclair Kimberley Academy fast facts

This placement works because it targets a captive audience with compelling statistics. Rather than grouping statistics together on a single page, MKA displays their value proposition in little bites site-wide, making them easy-to-digest and relevant to the rest of the content on the page.

For your own website: Landing pages are an ideal opportunity to outline some of the most outstanding statistics about your admissions process, academic offerings, extracurricular, and more. For example, on your main page for admissions, create an infographic that outlines impressive financial aid and scholarship statistics; then on your athletics page, use a separate one to discuss athletic achievements, and so on. This way, you can engage users with fast facts about a subject they're already interested in.

Key Takeaway

Infographics are an effective solution to visualize what you’re hoping to communicate quickly. They're direct, mobile-friendly, easy to understand, and using them creatively to organize, inform, and captivate can improve the user experience and your website's conversion rates.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mia Major

Mia is a creative and passionate school marketing thought-leader. Since joining the Finalsite team in 2013, Mia has produced hundreds of pieces of content with one goal in mind: helping private, public, and international schools improve their online presence. In her current role as director of demand generation, Mia focuses on full-funnel inbound marketing strategies. She's also a co-host on The School Marketing Show, a frequent blogger, e-book author, Expert Course consultant and webinar host. She loves putting storytelling at the heart of all communications — and before joining the Finalsite team, Mia was a TV and radio broadcaster, wedding cinematographer, and author for various online magazines. She is an army wife, mom, and rookie photographer currently living in southern Georgia.

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