The Huntington Public Schools’ website, www.hufsd.edu has been completely revamped. This marks the fourth revision in the lifespan of the district’s storied website.
First created in 2001 as essentially a webpage with a scroll of listings, the site received its first major design change in August of 2007, flush with pages for individual schools, departments, athletics, art programs, resources and community links. In 2011, the homepage and daily news feature pages were re-tuned to better reflect browser and screen capabilities.
Now, in the era of handheld devices and social media, the website has undergone a total overhaul to take better advantage of screen resolution, mobile compatibility and information sharing. Yet, the structure and organization of the site should still feel comfortably familiar.
Throughout the website; on the homepage, internal pages and news feature pages, the same navigation bar and footer panel reside at the top and bottom of each page. The design goal for the site has been first and foremost to provide the visitor with a visually fulfilling experience, but also to establish a sense of uniformity and consistency site-wide, so repeat visits will be intuitive and second nature.
Top Navigation Bar
• Following the web trend of news giants, such as the newyorkpost.com, washingtonpost.com, latimes.com, etc., the “top navbar” is sleek and simple by design, with a deliberately small screen footprint. On the upper left, the main navigation dropdown serves as your sitemap and can take you to every internal web page in the site. Pages will continue to be organized as they have been in the past by Schools, Arts, Athletics, Academic Departments, Leadership, School Communities and District Resources.
• On the top right, is the ‘Quick Click’ dropdown menu, with the links sorted by need: for staff, for students, for parents, for administrators and for community.
• At the center of the navbar is the branding. “Huntington Public Schools.” This site branding also serves as a link to return back to the homepage, as is the industry standard on many of the most visited sites today.
• On internal site pages there is also a third dropdown menu to the right of the center, which you can use to navigate through the page itself. Clicking on each section (news, documents, overview, leadership, directory, media and vitals) will give you a fast, but smooth scroll through the length of the page.
• While the top nav bar has been minimalized, the footer has been maximized. School address, phone and fax contacts, a search bar and Google translation button are stationed on the left.
• Icon links to Huntington’s official social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube can be accessed on the right.
• Links to BoardDocs, job openings, tech support for staff and news archives can be located on the bottom right of each page.
• Center of every page on the site is a scrollable “interactive calendar” which is uploaded and refreshed with events and important dates districtwide.
• Have a question or comment? Click on the Contact Us button and send us an email. We actually read them and respond.
• First on the homepage is a photo, headline and teaser for the feature story of the day. Want to read it? Click the ‘Get Story button’ to access the full article.
• Above that feature story there may or may not be an Alert message. If there is something important we want attention given to, an Alert message will be posted. After it has been read, feel free to click on the “x” at the right to close the message. If there was a link in the message you forgot to click, don’t worry; just refresh your page and the message will reappear.
• After the feature story is the usual several daily headline articles of the day.
• Following Today’s headlines section is the Daily Download section of important PDFs. Downloadable items will be sorted into three categories: Events – documents that are time related; Information – documents that are informative but don’t pertain to a date in time, and; Media – photo galleries, videos, board audio, newsletters, etc.
• Below the download sections, are ‘Previous Headlines,’ which include recent photos and teasers with stories from the past week. Clicking on any item will take you directly to that news article. This is an important place to catch up on some headlines you may have missed. Headlines will remain here for at least a week before they are transferred to our news archives where they will remain for the length of the school year.
• Previously, our site had over 400 internal pages, and that was just for the various schools, departments, etc. Now that number has been drastically reduced to under 60 pages. With the same amount of information on the site, each page will now be longer to scroll through, but less clicking between pages and less hopping around and getting lost, will result in a better quality visit. For example, under our old format, Huntington High School alone had over 10 web pages. Now, HHS has only one page, divided into nine sections: News, Documents, Overview, Leadership, Policies, PTSA, Directory, Media, and Vitals. Each page of the site follows that same format and consistency of sections. And remember, you can utilize the ‘Page’ dropdown menu on the right of the Top Nav Bar to click to each section in lieu of scrolling. One click and you can jump anywhere you want on the page.
News Article Pages
• Each news story continues to get its own page, just with a freshened up look and less clutter.
• A pop-up Social Media bar will appear on the left of each story and at the bottom of the screen on mobile devices. Depending on what social sites you utilize, you will have some flexibility in customizing your pop-up. It has never been easier to share a story on Facebook or Twitter, or email it to a family member or friend.
• Story photos can also be shared as well; as a link, an email or on Facebook.
• The entire website is now responsive with a mobile friendly version automatically rendering on your mobile phone or tablet device. Being mindful of mobile usage and constraints when designing (potentially poor Wi-Fi conditions, sunlight glare, less screen real estate, etc.) fewer graphics, decorative photos and transitions will be viewable. There are less bells and whistles than a full width browser viewing experience, but all the same information with hopefully faster page load time.
Huntington likes to think it has the best school district website in the state, if not the nation. Thousands of folks visit the new site each day. Officials hope this new site and upgrade will keep the district far ahead of the rest of the pack.