2021 Aug 16
The royalcollege.lk website has been the benchmark of institutional websites since its release in 2010. But with the evolution of the digital landscape, the existing design and interface needed to be innovated.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, the newly initiated Royal College Prefects’ Council saw the “work from home” culture as an opportunity to put to bed this elusive project. The IT committee of the Prefects’ Council kick-started the initial design plan in February of 2021. With countless hours spent on Zoom, the entire design aspect of the website was done by the month of April, which then led to the content collection and creation. Content creation and collection was by no means an easy feat for a school with over 9,000 Students, 50 clubs and societies, close to 35 sports and a history of 186 years. But the team had the unique motivation of completing a gigantic task.
It was not the sheer magnitude of the project that made it special, but rather the fact that the project was done a 100% by boys in the school and was developed as a zero cost initiative. ‘The boys’ had to shoulder the tasks of developing, programming, designing, writing, content collecting and even video production for publicity. “Built by boys in the school” is a phrase inspired by a book published in 1931 titled ‘The History of Royal College’, written by 20 boys in the school at the time. The policy to encourage student-led initiatives is timeless and something that the College prides itself on. “The attention to detail as well as the love that the boys put into this project was all in the spirit of giving it their all – a lesson they have learned well from this historic institution,” said Principal M.V.S. Gunathilake, under whose guidance this project was carried out.
This version of the website focused on being more relevant to the status quo and intuitive to even the youngest of users. The design was made simple whilst facilitating access to a plethora of information. The process is very clear from A-Z, and each page was meticulously planned to maximise utility. It is also important to note that it was made sustainable for the years to come, in such a way that even the least tech-savvy person can keep updating the website.
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic the team was restricted to a virtual event but the response from the users was overwhelming. The heavy traffic load on the launch night made evident the positive response the team received. The College hopes that this project inspires projects of a similar calibre both within the school and across the Island.