Redesigned Tulpehocken website user friendly, includes mobile app

Item photo by Shea Singley A screenshot of the homepage of the Tulpehocken Area School District website which was recently redesigned.

Tulpehocken Area School District recently launched a new website that is easier for the user to navigate. Along with the new website comes a new mobile site complete with an app that helps users access the necessary information just as easily on their mobile devices.

“We want to put the district in the palm of the hands of the users,” said Michelle Vroom, of eSchoolView the group responsible for the website redesign. “We are happy to work with districts to achieve their goals.”

The top priority for the project was to increase communication with community members and the district.

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“We believe the website is an extension of the district and its buildings. It is important to build relationships between the district and the community,” said Vroom.

The new website features a streamlined design, created by the Columbus, Ohio, based company.

During the design process, the company asked the district to fill out a questionnaire to see what the district felt it needed. Part of that questionnaire was asking the district what websites they liked. Based on those answers, the company created a mock design. All of the designs by eSchoolView are custom made from scratch and no templates are used. The district then was able to see the site and give feedback on necessary changes.

“If the website is an effective tool then it is achieving results that the district wants,” said Vroom.

The mobile side of the website is accessed through the Knowitall app which is based upon state-of-the-art responsive design meaning the page will load according to the device in hand without sacrificing content or function. Once the app is downloaded, the user is prompted to select the school district. When the website is updated, the mobile site will simultaneously update which means no lag time when accessing the site on mobile devices.

According to eSchooView, Tulpehocken sought the redesign to improve navigation and the end-user’s overall experience. The redesign also boosts contribution from the staff.

The site is partially paid for through Priority One E-rate funds which saved the district a significant amount by offsetting external connections according to a release from eSchoolView. E-rate is a federal program under the Federal Communications Commission that is designed to help schools and libraries afford advanced telecommunication services and Internet access.

With the new site, staff can share important updates and create new pages and sections easily and quickly. Tulpehocken Area School District also took advantage of a personalized training and support offer in which certain staff members will be taught how to use the system and then train others. The support is unlimited as well.

“They’re very pleased with it,” said Vroom, on the district’s reaction to the new site.

Be sure to check out the new site design at tulpehocken.org and download the Knowitall app to see the new user friendly site.

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About the Author

Shea Singley

Shea Singley is the editor of The Hamburg Area Item. She grew up in Berks County and spent three years at the University of Arizona, Tucson, where she double majored in Creative Writing and English before transferring to Kutztown University where she majored in Professional Writing. Shea graduated from Kutztown University in 2012 and during that time completed an internship in the publication department of a non-profit organization in Washington, DC. She joined Berks-Mont Newspapers in March of 2013 and had enjoyed getting the chance to explore the Hamburg area and meet the readers. Reach the author at ssingley@berksmontnews.com or follow Shea on Twitter: @hamburgitem.