How do you make an old-fashioned prep school feel modern without doing away with the tradition altogether? The Raffles Institution website walks this fine line, presenting a brand that offers a traditional university preparatory education with modern features and facilities.
A crest, associated with prep schools all over the world, is placed on the home page but positioned to be part of the background. Photos and line drawings of students and facilities help to space out the writing and make the website easier to read, while providing insight into the actual school experience. A presidential recommend is placed on the landing page, which together with the crest gives the school a very official and substantial feeling.
Website Reviewed: Raffles Institution, Singapore
Website URL: http://admissions.ri.edu.sg/
Parents don’t just choose a school based on academics; they do so based on the school’s reputation and their personal perception of the type of education offered. This website will be instrumental in creating the right reputation and making parents want to choose this institution for their own children. It also simplifies the application process, which some schools seem to purposely complicate.
Why does a school like this need a website? This website will ensure that the school has ample applicants and can choose the best and most promising. This will eventually raise the school’s reputation. In addition, the website shows that the school is a professional entity, worthy of parents’ tuition dollars.
Creativity: 5 stars. The colors of the website include a traditional taupe background with blue-green accents. Blue-green is a calming and trustworthy color—important when you are dealing with a family’s prized possession, their child—but it is also modern and adds contrast to the neutral colors in the background.
Ease of use: 5 stars. The website is very well-organized, making it easy to access information. Each item on the navigation bar expands so interested parents can find information in a single click. There is a good mix of practical information and photos, making the website very navigable and easy to peruse. The admissions process, curriculum information, and other hard facts are explained clearly.
Functionality: 5 stars. An online application process makes it easier for parents, and likely easier for the school as well. It would be nice if there were printable paper applications as well, because some parents don’t like to give out personal information on the internet. However, the process is very well explained so people know exactly what step they are on and what they need to do to complete it.
Content: 5 stars. The content is exceptional. Only perfect grammar and spelling are used—we should be able to expect this from a school, but unfortunately many fall short. This is more impressive when you consider that the school is located in Singapore, which is not primarily an English-speaking country.
Appropriateness: 5 stars. The website is very appropriate for a school. Warning: it will make you want to send your children there! The mix of modern and traditional, scholastic and social, presents a brand that many interested parents will find very attractive.