Web Design Critique: Hope Academy

Hope AcademyThis being the last critique for Redesign Month, I chose to pick the last entry in the forum. Congratulations to you, Hope Academy, of Ocean Springs, Mississippi!

Website Address: http://www.hopeacademyeagles.com/

First Impressions

When I first visited the site, I immediately knew that you were using the Beacon website builder. The background and graphics that come with Beacon are very outdated. I would strongly urge you to migrate to the NE1 Builder ASAP.

Aside from that, the introduction was perfect! Your title, description and the purpose of your website is there at the top. I knew exactly what this page was for as soon as I landed on it.

Your logo may need a little updating as well. I’m not sure if that graphic was scanned or not, but the quality of it is poor. You may consider redoing the graphic so it will be “cleaner” (or having someone with that skill do it for you).

Graphics

As I mentioned above the background graphic, separator graphics, and buttons at the bottom of the page seem a bit outdated. Migrating over to the NE1 Website Builder would alleviate that.

Excellent work with the Katrina photos. It would be more pleasing to the eye to have the photos centered and the text underneath (centering the title and left aligning the description). My wife’s parents live in Mississippi and we know that pictures never can tell the story that Katrina brought to you. we’ll be praying for a quick recovery.

I would have liked to see more photos of the students, teachers, faculty and school building. Pictures tell great stories and give visitors an idea of what they can expect if they were to enroll their children there.

Text

There’s not much to comment on for the text of your site. You may consider using more formatting. Bold and italicize key words, phrases and headings. This will help separate long pages of text and make it much easier to read.

Your Letter from the Principal is a good example. Be sure to separate the paragraphs and give some “white space”. This will help visitors to read it easier as well.

Summary

All in all and as far as the design goes, moving to the NE1 Website Builder would update your site instantly as far as the graphics and template is concerned. It offers a much more professional look. Otherwise, I think there really needs to be more content on the site.

Consider adding a Faculty and Teachers page, providing photos and bios. Create more photo albums of school events. Have your teachers set up their own Classroom sites through the NE1 Website Builder, then link to them from your main school page.

These suggestions, of course, aren’t design related, but would make for a more interesting site for new visitors to look at.

If you have any comments or suggestions for Hope Academy, post them below!

Mike joined OurChurch.com as Web Designer/Developer in September, 2006. Born and raised in Houston, TX, he is now married and has 3 adorable children. In his spare time he enjoys playing piano/keys and singing throughout the local area as well as at church. You may also see him acting in church dramas as well as a local Improv Comedy Troupe!

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