Optimizing healthcare research for the digital world
Imagine a world where every surgeon enters the operating room equipped with the latest research. Where frontline workers vanquish COVID-19 surges with a data-driven game plan. Where hospitals use AI to analyze treatment patterns and provide better patient care. This is the mission of Advisory Board.
No one in the healthcare industry spends more time researching the now and predicting the next than Advisory Board. But to uncover these groundbreaking insights and omens, members had to sift through a maze of disorganized PDFs on the company’s website. This resulted in wasted time, canceled memberships, and potentially squandered lives.
Advisory Board needed a new digital experience that was as dynamic as they are — with research-rich storytelling laced across mobile, desktop, and PDF formats.
Advisory Board was facing several immense challenges:
- Online articles weren’t organized by topic or content type — making navigation and search next to impossible (especially on mobile).
- While Advisory Board hosts dozens of healthcare webinars a month, the registration process was clunky at best (and inscrutable at worst).
- Members who submitted questions to the Ask Advisory portal often didn’t hear back for 3-4 days.
- The company was speaking the same way to all members — regardless of profession or location.
- Finally, Advisory Board’s aggressive timeline necessitated simultaneous UX design and full stack development.
For the website’s visual design, we were inspired by the everyday tools of zealous researchers: pens, highlighters, and good old-fashioned paper. We wanted the site to feel informed and polished without losing a sense of human touch.
Bringing transparency to a fairly opaque industry
The healthcare industry is littered with cryptic jargon and a lack of overall clarity.
To help Advisory Board cut through the confusion, we took a deliberate U-turn away from Advisory Board’s previous site structure. Instead of organizing the layout according to membership status (which made it difficult for members to tell what content they actually had access to), we condensed 100+ eclectic topics into a foundation of 14 central areas of focus.
Plus, we also pared down the navigation bar to four central pillars: Topics, Events, Daily Briefing, Blog.
Within these topics, we improved on the navigation experience by assigning labels to different types of content — from toolkits for nurses to infographics for executives.
For each content type, we mapped out a scenario to bring its value and purpose to life. For example, we distilled key articles into a standardized Cheat Sheet format — perfect for scanning if you’re about to step into a meeting and need to sound up-to-speed on the latest topics.
Shedding light on the facts that matter
Once we nailed down the overarching design, we used it to craft 23 templates and 100+ content blocks. This allowed us to morph a singular story into visually consistent pieces of content for desktop, mobile, and PDF formats.
Confluent design and development
To support these endeavors on the back end, our technologists locked arms with our UX designers to translate wireframes into functional code. We built and connected 30 API integrations between Sitecore and Salesforce to furnish the site with seamless functionality across memberships, subscriptions, topics, and events.
A constellation of cutting-edge research, consulting, and technology
In the first week after the AskAdvisory.com portal launched, the average turnaround time for submitted inquiries dropped from 3-4 days to 5.5 business hours.
Advisory Board’s reimagined navigation and search experience powerfully showcase the value of their industry-shaking insights — leading to a significant uptick in member engagement year-over-year:
67%More Web Traffic
31%More Page Views
57%More User Interactions
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