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The Loyola School Website Refresh

The Loyola School offers scholarship-based education for low-income Baltimore City children, starting in preschool through early elementary school. 

Originally opening with only a PreK-2, PreK-3, and PreK-4 program, TLS added a new grade level every year, preparing it’s children for middle school. With the addition of 2nd grade to their education program, they found that their website needed to grow with the school. 

TLS, who served as one of our first clients in 2020, returned for a website “refresh,” keeping the copy and updating the layout to reflect the diversity and age range of it’s students.

Information Architecture

To ensure we were focusing on the appropriate challenges, our journey began with the creation of a site map for the website’s current architecture. This step is foundational, as a sitemap plays a crucial role in enhancing a website’s performance and user experience by serving four pivotal functions. 

It forms the core of information architecture, which is dedicated to structuring the website’s content in an organized manner that’s intuitive for users. This organization aids in seamless navigation and efficient information retrieval, allowing users to quickly find the information they need.

Organization

Just like books are categorized by genres in a library, information architecture helps categorize information on a website into different sections or categories, making it easy to navigate.

Labeling

This involves choosing the right names for those categories or sections. It's like labeling bookshelves in a library. The labels should be clear and make sense to the users, so they know exactly what kind of information they will find under each label.

Navigation

This is about how users move through a website to find what they need. Good navigation is like having a clear map of a library, showing you where everything is located.

Search Systems

Some websites have a lot of information, so they include search bars to help users find specific items quickly. It's similar to using a library's computer system to look up a book by title, author, or subject.

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Navigation Upgrade

To maximize ease of navigation and improve the user experience for parents, donors, and stakeholders, drop down menu options were rearranged, renamed, added, or completely removed, proving that every page in the navigation must serve a purpose and achieve an outcome.

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Optimizing User Paths

The Role of Flow Charts in Website Navigation for The Loyola School
To better grasp and refine how users interact with The Loyola School’s website, we developed a flow chart as a navigational guide. It maps out all potential user pathways, serving to:

Improve Navigation

The chart reveals intricate routes, guiding us to streamline them for a more intuitive and user-friendly navigation.

Guide Design

It ensures the site's design is straightforward and aligned with the school's mission, facilitating effortless exploration for the community.

Seamless Desktop to Mobile Design

With a desktop design that absolutely wowed the school, it was imperative that the mobile version of the site deliver the same experience, as desktop does not always translate well to mobile.

Content Specific Layouts and Templates

While many schools serve the needs of parents, teachers, and staff,  the non-profit Loyola School focuses on two primary audiences: donors and prospective parents. With this in mind, page layouts were formatted based on their designated user to help them quickly distinguish whether they were on the correct journey. 

Outcome

The Creative Circle Collective doesn’t just build pretty designs. Successful redesigns consider the user’s experience to yield results.
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Users from organic search engine results yielded 67.7% engagement.
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Organic users engaged with the site for over a minute and twenty-seconds.
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74% of organic search, direct, referral, and social users returned to the website.
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The entire staff at CCC are hardworking, top-performing and developed professionals. Their hands-on approach in aiding our team has been invaluable. CCC has taken a seat at the planning table for many projects, and they have played integral and varying roles.

Candra Healy
Director of Development, The Loyola School

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