I am the author of a study skills program that is designed to help students in grades 6-college learn more efficiently, develop more confidence, become more successful, and ultimately create more happiness for themselves. I want my website to have a "personality" that resonates with my program: simple (clean, easy to navigate), bold, fun, and professional. My mission is to make "study skills" fun and relevant to students, but I don't want the site to be condescending to students. My website hosts many free resources for students, parents, and teachers, but it is also a marketing site for my products and services, so it serves many purposes. As a result, I have struggled to figure out a way to effectively manage the navigation.
My target audience includes students in grades 6-12, parents, and educators. People who search for study skills are likely to find many free pages with an overwhelming amount of information and text OR they will find sites that look like nothing more than a digital curriculum catalog. People visiting my site have been struggling to find an efficient way to study and organize (or an efficient way to teach study and organizing skills). Most of what they find is boring, drab, lifeless, and creates the impression that study skills are about as fun as a stint in prison. (OR they find sites that are "childish" and condescending.)
Ultimately, I believe that all students like to be treated professionally and with respect, yet still have their inner desire for "fun" acknowledged and accepted. I would like the personality of my site to fit with this profile.
Please visit my current site: http://www.soarstudyskills.com. I will list below things I like and want to maintain as well as things I don't like:
- Vibrant colors
- 4-square logo (I get many compliments on the color scheme of my site and my products...I definitely have a visual "brand" established.)
- Three points of navigation: top, side, and add'l menu under the header on many pages. I would like to clean this up with only 1 navigational area (top or left side)
- No room to expand new content: some of my pages could be broken up into "mini websites" within the larger website. I would like to be able to organize a couple different layers of pages.
- Sign-up for the "freebies" are "below the fold." I would like to move them up to show up without scrolling.
- Busy. I like the impact of the colors on my site, but it seems a little busy. I think I need more "white space."
MAIN POINTS of EVALUATION
- First impression...modern, clean, professional, vibrant, invigorating (NOT boring)
- Branding...how well does it communicate the visual representation of "SOAR"?
- Simple. Some white space, easy to navigate.
- Room for free sign-up above the fold.
- Organized for endless expansion.
Thank you for your consideration!