The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

Pixel Perfect: The Menlo Website Gets a New Look

Staff photo and illustration: Andrea Li

This past December, a new and enhanced Menlo website went live, replacing its predecessor that served the Menlo community for nearly seven years. According to Strategic Communications Director Shayne Olson, it is standard protocol for a school to update its website’s design every five years or so. Former Director of Communications Alex Perez first initiated the recently completed redesign project in the spring of 2022, with Olson’s help. With Perez’s departure from Menlo in June 2022, Olson became the lead project manager. She continues to be very involved in the new website’s testing and development. 

A number of factors sparked the redesign; even before the process had begun, various users had commented on the website’s overall functionality. Most notably, some felt that the navigation panel located in the middle of the site was inconvenient. “Users found the old navigation panel really hard to use and it wasn’t very streamlined,” Olson said. 

Additionally, some of the website’s content was cluttered and not up to date. “A lot of outdated content had piled up over the years, so the website management system needed to be cleaned out and reorganized,” Olson said.

During a full audit of the old website, Olson created focus groups of employees, leadership, parents and recent graduates to provide feedback on the site. The audit also entailed user testing and content editing. 

After the evaluation, Olson and her team brainstormed a few main goals for the project, including revamping the home page and simplifying navigation. “Users told us the old home page wasn’t very impactful and didn’t do a very good job of telling ‘Why Menlo?’ so we tried to emphasize the school’s priorities a little bit more in the new designs,” Olson said. “We also tried to make the homepage a little more dynamic.” 

Olson also wanted to emphasize all of the opportunities that Menlo offers on the website. “We built a lot of flexibility into the design. Menlo has so many amazing programs, from athletics to arts to global travel to academics, and we wanted to be able to make all of them feel special and highlight these different programs in a way that was unique to them,” Olson said. 

That said, improving navigation remained Olson’s biggest objective. “In the new site, you’ll see that it’s much easier to get into things very quickly; it’s all [at the] top [of the page] and mobile friendly,” Olson said. An aspect that was kept mostly the same was the search bar, as its key features –– such as suggested results –– remain tailored for Menlo users.

There have been occasional bumps in the redesign road; when the website first went public, not everything copied over properly from the development platform. Nonetheless, Olson thinks the improved site seems to be working well so far. “There are still little things that we’re finding that aren’t working as well as they should, and we are still building some new features, but overall, the initial rollout has been pretty smooth.”

The new website has received positive comments from many, including students. Sophomore Lya Slater appreciates its new look. “I like the font better and it’s a lot more aesthetically pleasing,” Slater said. “When you look at the academics page, the website has dropdown menus, which flows better and I feel like it’s more organized.” 

Being a visual artist with a knack for design, Slater also enjoys the little details that add to the site’s flair. “The designs and doodles covering the pictures [are cute] and I also like how they have the schedule right on the home page because previously it was very hard to find.”

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About the Contributor
Sienna Lew
Sienna Lew, Opinions Editor

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 2

Favorite aspect of journalism: discovering new things about our diverse community through the stories I pursue

Interests outside of school: poetry and creative writing, running, listening to music, hanging out with friends and family, mock trial

Class of 2026


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