Surge Blog

Limerick College of Further Education’s new website design

A proud day for Surge and LCFE combined, as the culmination of our efforts are celebrated on a cold November afternoon on Mulgrave Street. Fourteen months after the first meetings were held, where future possibilities and ambitions were discussed, we arrive at the official launch of the new LCFE website with a tangible end-product.

Outlined below are some of the key features that can be found on the new website design. This was a great project to work on and we here at Surge find ourselves very privileged to have been afforded the opportunity to take this on and to output a website that we can be incredibly proud of for years to come.

LCFE wanted to ensure that visitors got a sense of life and movement when they arrived to the website. During our time of research into the site architecture with the staff at LCFE, it soon became apparent that there is a wealth of content generated and updated regularly by LCFE. One of our first challenges from a first impressions point of view was to display to the user a sense of activity while still maintaning a non-cluttered layout.

The result of our efforts in this regard was the main banner area at the top of the homepage being divided into two sections with a main announcement on the left and three most recent news posts scrolling on the right. This will enable visitors to be able to see what’s new in the college at a quick glance, and enable them to read more with just one click.


new website design top of page

Information overload

As mentioned above there was a large amount of content being created on a regular basis by the college that we wanted to emphasise. There was also a large body of information that needed to be included on the site and presented to the user. We needed to understand the typical user of the new website. As with all new website design projects it is important to discover what is important to the end user when they visit the site. The interface for this website needed to make it easy for a wide range of users to engage and access important details and information quickly and easily.

new website design on mobileTo tackle the issue of having a large body of information and a limited amount of space we designed icons that help users to find a section of the website quickly and easily. The creation of visually appealing icons allowed us to draw a users attention to different areas of the website. This also created a snapshot for first time visitors to the site into the variety of activities and interests from the college. Upon investigation the 4 key areas that were highlighted as important were:

1. Reasons to come to LCFE which is geared towards students who are considering enrolling.

2. Our Culture and Vision: this section of the site presents a digital version of the comprehenvise Strategic Plan for LCFE.

3. Employers Engagement: this section of the site appeals to employers who wish to engage with the college

4. Image Gallery: This section of the site allows current students to see what has been happening in recent days with regular events and activities documented and achived through photography.

Finding a course at LCFE

The courses page was obviously an important feature to consider in the website build. This page is designed in a way to make it as easy as possible for users to either browse a course, or to drill down quickly to the course that you are searching for. The course listing is divided into two sections first. On the left hand side: full time courses, on the right: part-time courses.

Well done to Surge and the staff of LCFE.  We put a lot of work into it and I think it has paid off.

Pat Maunsell, Director of LCFE

Once this is established the user can quickly filter through to the department that they are searching for and with one click they are brought to the course listing for that category. All the courses are integrated with the Content Management System allowing course administrators to easily update the content for each course.

There is also an easy to manage image gallery which allows site admins to upload photos from any events. The gallery listing uses hovers that zoom which make it seem like the images are jumping towards you and help to bring the page to life. When the user clicks through to the image listing they can view the images which are displayed in an engaging masonry style. This style allows the images to be displayed in a nice clean manner without compromising the quality or size of the images.

John O'Brien speaks at the offical launch of LCFE's new website design
John O’Brien speaks at the offical launch of the new LCFE website

Finally, the feature that we are most proud of as web developers and designers is the ‘Culture and Vision’ mini-site. This section is powered by CSS animations and is teeming with life. Every interaction the user makes is rewarded with an animation. Even on page load, the user is greeted with a spinning animation that places itself in the background. Hovering on the buttons above the fold highlights the colours on the wheel on the left. Clicking these buttons or scrolling down the page causes elements to slide or fade into view. All of this is to aid LCFE in showcasing their professionalism and ambition.

If you would like to get in touch with us to find out any more details about this project or maybe start your new website design project please do get in touch with us.

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