Work: Universities & Education

University Web Redesign - Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Client

A leadership committee of faculty from the departments of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at a major local research university representing more than 100 faculty and staff in 15 different divisions.

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“Dayspring did a fantastic job in designing a new website for our large and complex academic department. It was a pleasure interacting with such an intelligent, creative, and friendly project team. I would recommend their services to anyone needing high-quality Web design and personally look forward to working with the Dayspring team again in the future”

Situation

The two departments share a commitment to achieving the highest standards in patient care, research, and education. As part of university's School of Medicine, the departments are recognized nationally and internationally for the most-modern-available technologies and highly trained subspecialty expertise. Historically the departments created and maintained separate Web sites while collaborating to provide a distinguished pathology residency program. Each site served as a separate hub for announcements and curriculum for faculty and resident audiences. Increasingly, the project sponsors realized the sites did not visually reinforce the excellence of education and resources available at the university. While combining the departments into one Web presence offered a visual agreement to their shared mission, each individually possessed a complexity, volume, and depth to their content that outstripped most other static-content sites on the Web.

Meanwhile, a community of local and national healthcare providers had come to depend on the university's expert clinical services to test and diagnose, particularly when their need exceeded the limits of a private practice, clinic or a hospital's pathology staff. As medical technologies advance, critical information increases and the need to organize, store and retrieve data expands regardless of the adequacy of structures already in place. Over time the paths to critical resources had grown in complexity and become hard to follow. Ordering a test from the university became increasingly difficult. It was time for a major reorganization.

Vision

The goal the departments envisioned was a redesign of their separate sites into a combined Web presence that served all their diverse audiences. This was possible after they recognized a shared passion for attracting the best medical school graduates, providing current residents with educational resources, and offering expert clinical services to healthcare providers.

Execution

While Dayspring's project team was tackling an expansive body of complex information it was also coordinating a discovery process involving more than 40 stakeholders providing their unique input. The hard work paid off. Dayspring successfully balanced the interests of individual stakeholders with those of the project sponsors to address the needs of numerous audiences. Dayspring's team of designers and developers streamlined the way healthcare providers select and order testing/diagnostic services for their patients. Medical school graduates easily access rotation schedules and browse a faculty directory in search of the ideal pathology residency placement. Faculty, residents and fellows get the archived lectures and laboratory policies required to advance their research. In the end, the university's departments of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine launched a single, cohesive and scalable Web site that serves many and diverse users, visually advancing an international reputation.

Postscript

Three years after our initial effort the Departments were ready for a visual refresh. Our team had the pleasure of working with the same core group of stakeholders to provide a visual update, add some new features for visual engagement, and ease management tasks—and do it all without touching the HTML throughout the bulk of the site.

Validating our approach of careful attention to clean code and proper structuring of files, the site's visual update was accomplished by only editing stylesheets (CSS). This saved a significant amount of effort across a 3-400 page website, and highlights the fact that quality work pays ongoing dividends.

Technologies employed: XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, Apache Web Server. Integration to legacy Perl CGI scripts.

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