Bedales Schools is a renowned and respected independent school, nestling in the Hampshire countryside and near the market town of Petersfield. Founded in 1893 as a boarding and day school for boys and girls aged 3 - 18, Bedales has a reputation for focusing on the educational welfare and happiness of each individual child through the schools' 'head, hand and heart' philosophy.
The challenge was to deliver an interesting and creative web application of the new school prospectus that showcased the personality, activities and achievements of all three schools within Bedales and would entice potential applicants to make an enquiry. In addition, the website had to help overcome communications problems with existing parents, provide additional online services such as online payments and feature interactive content to bring the Bedalian way to life.
User research, persona creation, focus groups and a user experience strategy ensured the website architecture was carefully aligned with project objectives and catered for the needs of the wide target audience. A fresh and unique user interface presented the Bedalian way of life with creative flare and integrated with both the Avenue Digital CMS platform, and Schools Base database, site administrators were able to manage content displayed by each of the schools, including events calendars, news, photos and blogs, whilst parents could finally login to view their child's progress reports and timetables. The website became the central communication hub for existing and prospective parents and students, the staff and governors, the local community and the Old Bedalians, catering for all stakeholder groups.
The Bedales Schools website was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award in 2009 by The Interactive Media Council, judged for creative web design, content, feature functionality, usability, standards compliance and cross-browser compatibility. The award demonstrated Avenue Digital's confidence in developing functional features that harmonise the user’s journey and recognizes our very high standard of planning, execution and overall professionalism. "When we launched the new Bedales website, it was welcomed wholeheartedly by our stakeholders for being a massive improvement on its predecessor. Since then, we have enjoyed working with Avenue Digital to introduce a steady stream of enhancements to the site". Rob Reynolds, Director of External Relations
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