Responses by Fritz Klaetke, design director; Kristen McNally and Cat Yu, designers; Luke Hatfield, developer and Susan Battista, strategist, Visual Dialogue
Background: Although Riverview School has been doing a great job helping kids with complex learning challenges achieve their potential for over 60 years, the school was not well-known outside of its immediate community on Cape Cod. Our jobs were to better represent the school online and raise its profile in order to gain awareness among prospective parents and special education consultants.
Highlights: We created a full-browser, auto-play intro video, created by Big Ocean, to quickly give site visitors a feel for what the school is all about. We also wanted to give parents a positive introduction to the school, with a bold, bright layout and great imagery. Primary photography was done by Ben Gebo.
Challenges: The hardest part of the site redesign was stripping away the layers of content that were useless to prospective parents and creating a clear, simple path to guide them through the process of discovering whether Riverview is right for their child.
Favorite details: Telling the story of Riverview in a one-minute intro video was a challenge, but I think we achieved an authentic portrayal of the school.
Navigational structure: We really wanted to streamline the user experience to highlight the three key programs—Middle & High School, Post-High School Transition and Summer—along with other areas of interest. Other areas of the site not intended for our primary audience, such as Careers, Support, etc., were then moved to a secondary position.
Time constraints: In order to go live in time for the new admissions season, we designed and developed the complete site—including creating a new brand identity for the school—in less than four weeks. But since we knew the school so well, we had full buy-in from the school administration to move quickly.