As I assessed the Center for Cancer Research’s (CfCR) online needs, it became clear to me that there was a significant challenge surrounding the research arm’s online relationship to the affiliated Cancer Center. From a web standpoint the CfCR seemed siloed, and although its audience of professional researchers was certainly distinct from the more patient-facing Cancer Center site, I felt that it was still important to indicate the real-world value of its research as part of such a prestigious organization.
The problem was compounded by a technical limitation within the wider hospital’s content management system, which wouldn’t allow the full merging of the two sites’ content under one branded top nav. Still, I strongly felt that both sites would benefit from highlighting their connections and shared mission.
My solution was three fold.
First, a new insignia was developed, which underlined that the CfCR (along with a number of other previously disparate linked groups and affiliates) was “An integral part of the Mass General Cancer Center”. Co-branding the Center for Cancer Research in this way allowed visitors to remain conscious of the connections between the two centers, and to perceive the main Cancer Center site as the online (and by extension operational) “home” for all visitors.
I also applied a tactic of establishing more patient-to-physician online content linking. For example, I brought several researchers on as contributors to the “What we talk about (when we talk about cancer)” community blog site, so that as they engaged on the site there would be overt links between these different constituencies.
Cross-linking of research news and events in the main site was also made much more robust, for example with a calendar for both researcher events and physician continuing medical education, mapped to display on both the CfCR site and the education and training section of the Cancer Center’s site.