Bavarian International School
Bavarian International School (BIS), an IB world school and home to 1,150 students from 61 nations, has two campuses, one located in the city center of Munich and the other on the outskirts of the city in Haimhausen. Having first partnered with Finalsite a decade ago, their team chose to work with Finalsite again as they began the website redesign process.
1,150 students from 61 nations study at the two campuses of the Bavarian International School (BIS), located in the village of Haimhausen and central Munich. "Believe. Inspire. Succeed" is the motto that underlies the pedagogically rich and holistic education provided for students from age three to 19. Intercultural competence, collaborative and inspiring learning, respect, social responsibility and tolerance characterize the spirit of this accredited IB World School.
"The website redesign has helped BIS put a "new face" out to the world as well as out to our existing community, reinforcing important messages that we are modern, forward thinking and fun. Finalsite took a very professional approach to a complex project and did their best to keep us on track and organized amongst a sea of details and decisions."
COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST AT BIS
Their new website boasts of bright bold colors and a fun logo that you can learn more about in this video from the Director. From the “Moving the World” theme to the “Flourishing Personalities” interactive grid, this homepage is full of color, motion and interaction — and the mobile experience is equally impressive. And to top it off, the website was awarded an Award of Excellence in the Communicators Awards for digital excellence.
Main Goals for the Website Redesign
BIS was launching a new corporate brand which included a new logo, new colors and fonts and other elements so the website needed a complete makeover.
Nicolette stated: “We felt the website wasn't as eye-catching or visually appealing as it could have been. Information could have been presented in a clearer fashion, images were outdated, text was outdated and a host of other issues. In general, our website was an under-used tool and we wanted to create a new site that would really speak to prospective parents.”
With the ultimate goal of attracting more prospective parents and students to BIS, the team focused on making the information more visually appealing, easier to find, and a better presentation of what BIS has to offer. They focused on creating fresh content, capturing new images, and restructuring how the content was present to site visitors.
Website Launch and Feedback
BIS cleverly created a video to help educate and excite their community with all the changes and shared this on their website, in social media, and in newsletters.
There are many ways to measure success with a website redesign. For BIS, one of their goals was to motivate people to contact their Admissions Team / request a tour, and / or to apply for admission. Their admissions team is surveying all new inquiries to keep track of how people got information and why they decided to contact them. This information, coupled with monthly reporting and strategic guidance from an external consultant, will help them further refine their site and maximize the website as a tool to enhance enrollment.
Overall the community was positive and winning an award corroborated all their efforts.
Advice For Others
Nicolette kindly shared her advice based on their experiences with their website deployment so that others can benefit:
- “A website redesign is a major undertaking. All colleagues involved in this project, including myself, greatly underestimated the time and energy required to manage this task and to manage it well.
- The process will lead to many other related tasks that you haven't even thought of yet, so plan for a big chunk of working hours over a longer period for many staff members.
- If you are considering a rebrand, be sure to align it with a website relaunch and include a refresh of your corporate image library. Doing these three things together was a lot of work, but each thing facilitated and supported the other, coming together in a powerful result.
- Come up with a clear concept for measuring success and start tracking those numbers before your redesign. Do not underestimate how complicated and time-consuming the topic of accurate measurement and reporting can be.”
Nicolette concluded: “The website redesign was a critical, foundational step we needed to strengthen enrollment as well as to underpin our 30th anniversary year and many associated activities. Our Fundraising and Development colleague has an expanded presence on the new website with pages that support giving from all over the world. As we are a small team, we are still in the process of integrating the full capabilities of the website into our processes. I must say, customer service as well as all the training resources have been great.”
We are keeping an eye on this website to see what other exciting additions and changes they make in the coming years.
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