Stanford Website Revamp Earns Association of American Medical Colleges Award for Excellence

Topics: Adobe Experience Manager

Transforming Stanford Medicine’s 600-plus independent websites into a streamlined, consumer-centric digital experience took the talent, ingenuity, and long hours of the organization’s Web services teams. Now their hard work is paying off in more ways than one. Not only are Stanford’s Web content publishers praising the new system—national industry leaders are taking notice as well.

The Group on Institutional Advancement (GIA) has announced that Stanford will receive the 2015 AAMC Award for Excellence in Electronic Communications for their new top-tier website, which launched June 9, 2014. The annual GIA awards recognize the most creative and effective promotion of academic medicine through alumni, communications, development, marketing, public affairs, and products.

GIA judges noted that the “development of the Stanford website was methodical and meticulous. Text is Web friendly and written at a level of excellence. Photos are crisp, clear, and Web appropriate. Professional, easy to navigate, and aligned with [the] brand. The site effectively meets [Stanford’s] strategic and measurable goals.”

The judges also praised Stanford for creating an integral advisory board and internal community to support development and design teams at each step of the transformation process.

“This is a wonderful testament to the level of excellence displayed across the board in this effort—from the earliest design exploration through the June launch and beyond,” said Mark Trenchard, Web Services Director at Stanford Medicine. “This is one indicator that we are indeed moving forward toward our vision of being the online leading voice in the biomedical revolution.”

The Stanford Medicine Web Transformation Project

Prior to last year’s redesign, Stanford’s legacy website acted as little more than a static link that redirected visitors to the organization’s respective school and hospital digital properties. The site had low impact, slow traffic, and provided no fresh content to announce Stanford’s many outstanding achievements.

As part of a highly respected and influential institution, Stanford Medicine knew they needed to engage consumers with a more impressive and functional website: one that expressed the attributes embraced by their overarching brand—bold, pioneering, and innovative—while representing the diversity of their outcomes on health care, research, and education.

To begin the project, Web services teams evaluated content management systems already in use across Stanford, and in the end chose to align with Web technology previously implemented by Stanford Health Care—Adobe Experience Manager (AEM). They chose the AEM-certified team of architects, developers and designers at Axis41 to help them replatform to the new CMS and redesign their website to maximize consumer engagement.

Teams designed drop-down menus to ease navigation for diverse audiences while keeping Web pages clean and uncluttered. Responsive design was employed to ensure optimum experiences with content, images, audio, and video across mobile and desktop devices. Immersive full-screen banners, an interactive innovation timeline, and a tag-driven multimedia news portal were added to provide the most up-to-date information about Stanford Medicine’s health care, research, and education missions. Semantic markup and more descriptive URLs were incorporated to improve SEO and Google news ranking of Stanford’s continuously updated content.

Critical to the future success of the redesign were the customizable features of AEM that will support the school’s distributed model of Web content authorship. From a unified platform, authors from disparate locations will be able to publish and optimize content, create custom layouts that include rich text and multimedia elements—like video players, social network embeds, forms, and more—without any technical expertise.

The results: Stanford’s site shifts from stock-still to outstanding   

The dedicated Stanford and Axis41 technical teams have effectively transformed the school’s digital point of entry from a static site with insignificant traffic into a dynamic and highly visible expression of the medical center’s unified vision and signature strengths.

In September 2014, the number of page views had increased by 750 percent—600 percent attributed to unique visitors—when compared with data collected in September 2013.

Over 230 content publishers from the Stanford School of Medicine and other departments within the university have been trained on the new system. They are praising the look of the redesign, as well as the improvements in usability.

Drive business with more impactful digital marketing

To learn how Axis41’s of AEM-certified architects, developers, and designers can help you maximize consumer engagement with your digital properties, contact us. Our experienced team and will work with your organization to create customized implementation strategies that will maximize profitability and ROI.