Site design should reflect your organization
OPTA decided to use the front of a bus as the main graphic on its new website. The student safety lights illuminate when a user passes over them with the cursor.
OPTA hired Verb Marketing + PR to design its new website. “There wasn’t a school bus on [the old site], so when people went to the page they didn’t know it was a pupil transportation page,” Ellison says. “The design didn’t really reflect who we are.”
Now, the main design of the site includes the front of a school bus. “[Verb Marketing + PR] actually went out and took pictures of school buses, so the buses on the site are not from stock photos; those are real Eugene School District buses,” Ellison says.
The “Contact OPTA” and “eNews sign-up” buttons are located on the safety lights of the bus that shapes the site. The lights illuminate when a user hovers over them with the cursor.
Davis says that Beach Transportation redesigned its logo as part of its website revamp.
“We tried to simplify [the site], yet make it more appealing to the eye so the most pertinent information was catchy and would stand out for people to see,” she adds.
Pasco County Schools’ old website was HTML-driven, according to Kledzik. “Now it’s content management-driven, so we have a continuity of themes throughout the district’s website,” he explains. “No matter if you’re looking at student education or transportation, there’s a constant theme across our web presence.”
Make safety information available
Davis says that she believes safety information is one of the most important things to have readily available on a pupil transportation website. Once Beach Transportation’s site was updated, “the safety information was much easier, much more accessible, than it was previously,” she says.
One of the site’s main sections is titled “Safety” and includes rules, information about the danger zone around a bus, tips for parents and kids, and the contractor’s video recording policy.
Similarly, OPTA has a “Safety Exercises” tab on its main navigation. The “Safety Exercises” page includes a downloadable school bus safety exercise manual and the results of previous exercises from Oregon’s school districts.
The Pasco County Schools transportation site also provides safety information, some in the form of videos.
“Our supervisor of operations worked with some local students to put together a couple of video resources that the schools are welcome to use … [as part of] a news program in the morning,” Kledzik says.