School District of Philadelphia Modernizes Website to be More Inclusive, Accessible and User-Focused

Posted on August 25, 2017
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Categories: News from SDP

First major website update in 10 years, district-wide project to finish in Spring of 2018

The homepage of our new website design.

PHILADELPHIA – The School District of Philadelphia (SDP) unveiled a redesigned and modernized  The District’s website update, the first since 2007, will happen in phases, and represents a soft launch with work continuing on through the Spring of 2018. The District will formally showcase the website at a launch party before the start of the new school year.

“Our website is a critical communication and information tool for families, students, teachers, staff and the public,” said Dr. William R. Hite, Superintendent of The School District of Philadelphia. “In order to better engage and serve all our website’s visitors we redesigned to be faster, more responsive and accessible, and easier to use for everyone.”

This is the first public phase in what has been a 15 month process to completely overhaul the District’s website.  To prepare for the revamp, the District undertook a six-month review to inform the redesign effort. Research included:

  • Review of website usage, which analyzed how over 8,000 visitors used the website
  • Online survey and interview sessions with internal and external stakeholders, including parents
  • A Google analytics review of and its traffic
  • Research of existing website trends of government, educational and nonprofit web organizations

The research helped focus the District’s efforts and establish clear goals for the redesign effort on:

  • Reorganizing and streamlining of content by moving to be user-focused, which will help families, students and employees find information they are seeking
  • Modernizing functionality, format and content – including faster, more comprehensive search capabilities
  • Increasing accessibility so that the website can be viewed in over 100 different languages and by visitors with limited visual abilities
  • Making use easy on mobile devices
  • Redesigning every school’s website
  • New logo and branding

    The new School District of Philadelphia logo.

The website remains a work in progress.  The Phase 1 launch includes basic redesign, content update and overhaul of over 75% of central office web pages that support the District’s operations.  Other offices such as Academics will update their webpages in the coming months.  By the Spring of 2018, the District’s website redesign will be complete and all offices and every individual school web page will be refreshed.

Examples of Phase 1 redesigned pages include: