Is there any better way to end the year than with the launch of a new website? Today’s launch also happens to be the biggest site we have worked on this year! Drum roll please as we announce the launch of the new website for Kedleston Group.
Kedleston Group provides high-quality schooling and care environments for young people throughout the country that the system doesn’t work for. Many of the young people at Kedleston schools have had difficult starts in school, and behavioural challenges mean that traditional schools and care environments don’t support their needs. Kedleston Group provides bespoke provision across their 10 schools, and 2 children’s homes, located from Cumbria to South London.
There were lots of challenges that needed to be considered when developing this website, the most important of these being to find a way to improve the navigation from the group site to each of their schools and homes. Users needed to be able to easily access Child level pages in the school navigation whilst still being able to view and navigate the parent level group menu. This was achieved by a two-tiered menu, one for the group that is permanently accessible from any page on the site, and another menu for the schools and homes.
To help users understand where they are on the site, colour paths were used with the different schools and homes each being branded with one of 5 core colours, all of which complemented the original Kedleston Logo colour scheme. When the school or home pages are accessed the colour path is immediately obvious. The navigation, logos and icons all adopt the relevant colour and any news, testimonials and success stories all relate to that setting.
In order to start building the relationship between the colours and the settings, the colours have been used logically throughout the group site. This logic is strongest on the homepage, where each of the testimonials have a colour bar that relates to that school colour. The testimonials themselves represent a really elegant piece of functionality, as each time the page is refreshed a new randomised selection are shown. They also are very easy for members of the group to update as any testimonials added will automatically pull through and show on the homepage of the relevant school.
News posts on the home page are also pulled from news from across the different settings, when they are hovered over on the group the text and colour bar changes to the colour of the setting that the news is about.
In creating these new colours, and helping the homes and schools come under the umbrella of the Kedleston Group we have also been respectful of the established school logos and identity. The school logos feature prominently on their respective home pages and also appear on testimonial cards. This was important as completely redesigning each of the school and home logos would be a huge undertaking covering everything from school uniforms, signage and marketing collateral to school stationery.
As well as looking attractive and being easy to navigate, the site is also full of clever functionality that will help Kedleston webmasters keep their content up to date and Ofsted compliant. Policies, Ofsted reports and school guides are all easily uploaded through an intuitive document manager and an integrated recruitment module means that the group can post and manage their own vacancies without being reliant on third-party services like CV library.
We think that the design and build of this site is a great example of the balance that is needed between the two on a site of this size. The website has a page structure of over 320 pages, but somehow it never feels overwhelming to navigate, the website has complex functionality, but never feels challenging to edit.
Kedleston Group had this to say about their experience working with us on this project:
"The whole experience with Purple Creative has been brilliant so far. From their initial confident and thorough pitch, right through to the hands-on detailed project management of our brand refresh and new website. Their approach is professional but also friendly and they always quickly get back to me with ideas, solutions and support. Thank you Purple Creative, we are all very excited to see the final product. It’s been a pleasure to work with you."
If you would like to know more about this project, visit the new Kedleston Group website.