OCS site makes news

Owensboro Catholic Schools has just completed the 2011-12 school year but is already preparing for next year with the launch of a new Web site designed and developed by Red Pixel Studios.

One of the goals of the site redesign was to add convenience for the user.  Highly trafficked areas of site have been reorganized so that information is easier to find. News and calendar items are improved, including the addition of a calendar for cafeteria menus. Forms are presented in a table so that parents can quickly determine the documents that need to be completed for admission and registration.

This was a substantial and challenging project – we essentially built five sites that can be managed together in one content management system. We developed the RPS Include Content plugin for WordPress to help make management easier for site editors.

As it turns out, Megan Harris of the Messenger-Inquirer noticed the new site and wrote a terrific article about it, which you can read here.

OCS launches new website, Droid app

Posted: Friday, June 1, 2012

By Megan Harris
Messenger-Inquirer

When Eric Kyle took a look at Owensboro Catholic Schools’ aging website, he did it not so much as a web designer, but as a parent.

“I thought, well, this could be organized better. Maybe they should explain this. Other parts, like pick up and drop off procedures, really needed to stand out,” Kyle said. “The site didn’t really have the same look as their established print materials and marketing. It was old. Obviously I think they provide an excellent product — the quality of the education they give my two, going on three, kids — but that wasn’t really coming through on the website.”

So for six months, Kyle and his team at Red Pixel Studios worked with OCS Admissions and Marketing Coordinator Karen Gross. They wanted the site to be convenient, streamlined, attractive and user friendly, she said. All the important information, like school phone numbers, calendar items and menus needed to be prominent.

Most importantly, Gross said, news would be spread across the site in easy to navigate categories.

“It’s like five individual websites — our four schools plus central office — all streamlined into one, then separated by tags,” she said. “So if you visit our site and all you want to know about is fast pitch softball, you won’t be bothered with all the other news. You’ll find exactly what you’re looking for, and fast.”

The site is at owensborocatholic.org

The redesign, which launched last week, supports a mobile version for tablet devices.

Student photos, Kyle said, took center stage for a reason.

“We looked a lot at incorporating an updated color palette, more muted shades of the bright colors they were already using,” he said. “We didn’t want to detract from their existing photography, because really, when parents or kids look at those sites, they want to know if their family fits in.”

After three years, Gross said, “we were due for a change.”

“It’s always good to update, you know? You want to see what else is available, how the technology has changed and what you can do to incorporate the best of what’s out there,” she said. “With this new (content management system), we update and upload quickly from anywhere. It’s so amazing. If something happens at night, we can update the website in a flash.”

The district also added an OCS app for Droid uses in April, available for free download in the Google Play store. The iPhone app joined iTunes in October of 2010. Both include a school directory, news, Facebook and Twitter feeds, maps and school and athletic calendars.

Megan Harris, 691-7302, [email protected]

Posted with permission.