The new and improved Hatfield Public Schools website is now live! Check it out at http://hatfieldps.net
The new website is built using Drupal 7 and is a major improvement over the previous website which was built in Joomla.
The decision to rebuild the website came after a series of hacking attempts made on the old Joomla installation. After looking at the current state of the site and discussing some standing issues with the website with their Technology Coordinator, Paul Duval, the decision was made to rebuild the website from scratch on a new and improved CMS.
Paul and I met to discuss some the concerns that he and the staff were facing when it came to editing the content as well as issues around how the content was organized on the website and how it was hurting the user experience.
Some of the key features to help improve the user experience, for both staff and visitors, included a simple toggle to switch between the schools, school specific sections of content, spotlights to help direct the user to the right area of the website, and staff directories.
The toggle allows someone to quickly access one of the school sections on the website. This was an issue with the older website as it was not clear if you were in a Smith Academy section or an Elementary section.Each of these areas have their own school-specific menu and the toggle stays highlighted when you are viewing school-specific content so you always know where you are.
To help get their primary audience to where they need to be, we included 2 primary spotlights on the home page, one for Parents & Students and one for Administration. These provide quick-links to important areas of the website that target these audiences. Also, additional spotlights can be seen across the website, which help promote brief announcements, additional information, and events.
The old site did not have a great way to display the right set of contacts for an area. Now there are customized staff directories that are tied to different sections of the website, such as general contacts and Smith Academy teachers.
Access to the old site is available if you would like to compare to the new website. This will remain available for a short period of time.