Hardenhuish School - WordPress Website

Educating a high performance website

  • Increase visitors and improve bounce rate
  • Clean, visually stimulating identity


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The challenge / goals

The education sector is an incredibly competitive market. That, coupled with the importance of students fulfilling their potential and be prepared for life after school, made for a challenging brief. We focused on current and historic data analysis to understand both successes and failures of the existing website. We discussed concepts that had already been designed for the new print and signage work, and how these could be suitably incorporated into the website design.

Our key objectives were to:

Presenting the school way of life in an engaging way, demonstrating diversity within images and using photography of the local Georgian manor house to give an air of sophistication.

Review navigation methods to reduce bounce rate and encourage more engagement

Getting the key stakeholders understand the user needs, not their own preferences.

Research / testing

From the beginning of our relationship, we worked closely with the school by visiting the site, which was formerly Chippenham Grammar School. This is a key part of their history, and the team really wanted to demonstrate that it’s an inspirational place to learn. Researching other education and society websites, we identified unique elements and latest trends that presented a clear and visually interesting user experience. We then organised our ideas and data in the Affinity diagramming, by sorting into groups based on their natural relationships (see lego image). Balsamiq was a useful tool to quickly test layout and positioning strategy for mobile and desktop.

We worked on two main prototypes for the user journey: 

  • Different visual header style and Navigation
  • Images / information layouts

Once we and the team were satisfied with the results, we then moved on to the build stage. From here I personally managed the developer, and gave a training session on the wordpress site to the School before going live.

>> Xd Prototype


Our final design is quick and easy to use, with a visual, engaging brand and ethos. The journey is easy for parents to make payment for lunches or new uniform, as well as for pupils to find exams information and results.

Additionally, the use of imagery shows the school as a great place for study and an opportunity for students to blossom into young adults. User journeys were simplified, particularly in the four keys areas which are also represented by icons. We used a full screen dropdown navigation which with only one tier is simple to use.