Aiglon—in their own words—are one of the world’s most distinctive boarding schools. Based in the mountains of Switzerland the school was founded in 1949, and is run based on a strong set of guiding principles that were developed over several decades. They have helped prepare thousands of students for a world in constant motion.
Aiglon have been a long-term client for us whom we’ve worked with to help manage their web presence—fixing bugs and adding in extra functionality and features where needed. Several months ago it was decided that the site needed a refresh. We all agreed that while the old site was perfectly functional, it had ceased to convey the distinctiveness and uniqueness of the school and what they had to offer.
Therefore, in collaboration with the Aiglon team, we took on the task of redesigning Aiglon’s online visual identity, along with taking the opportunity to make updates and improvements to the sites content and structure at the same time.
Before we started work on the visual design we sat down with the Aiglon team and together we evaluated their old site. We discussed what was, and wasn’t working, based on everyone’s opinions and feedback they’d been receiving from their users.
With several different audiences using the site it was important to ensure people could find the relevant information as fast as possible. From prospective parents researching the Year 10 curriculum, to existing parents just wanting to catch up on school news, through to potential school friends wanting to contribute to a scholarship fund.
We therefore decided to redesign the homepage layout from scratch to ensure the most popular content was both easily accessible and updatable to allow staff to promote seasonal events and occasions when needed.
Refreshing The Visual Style
Once we had settled on how we wanted to change the structure of the site we started exploring ways to bring the brand more up to date.
First on the list was typography. The site was originally designed using system fonts that would be universally available to all users. Whilst this meant no external font resources had to load and would help decrease the load time, we all agreed the typefaces being used didn’t give any personality to the site.
We explored various typeface combinations and eventually settled on Calibre (which is currently used in the schools print media), and Google’s recent Spectral font. These typefaces helped to convey a distinct yet professional feel.
We also explored a way to help bring visually highlight specific elements without compromising the minimal flat style we all liked from the old site. To help allow call to actions to stand out more from their surroundings, without relying entirely on colour, we took inspiration from Google’s Material Design and allowed various elements to use combinations of drop shadows to help elevate them from surrounding elements.
The Final Result
After several weeks of design iterations and discussions, we finalised the design and moved it into development. We built upon the existing CMS to add in new features and styling alongside the Aiglon team; who focused on writing and developing new content.
The result was a site that felt far more modern and fresh, and really helps convey the superb standard of teaching the school is able to offer their students.
Want to take a look? You can visit the new site here.