New Website, New Structure, New Framework
Lisa Smith, Web Administrator, Texas Health Institute
Kanaka Sathasivan, MPH, Director of Communications, Texas Health Institute
Meghan Varghese, MSSW, Communications Coordinator, Texas Health Institute
Over the past two years, we at Texas Health Institute have been working to develop a better way of sharing our competencies and achievements. Research with partners showed some room for improvement regarding our scope and purpose but deep respect for our high-quality work and commitment to health equity.
To emphasize our strengths while clarifying our mission, we started our journey by examining our purpose and what drives us, resulting first in an updated strategic framework. Next, we started building our brand with consistent language, colors, and fonts that are equitable and accessible (stay tuned for the launch in 2023). Finally, we tackled one of our most public facing channels: the website.
The Redesign Process
To start, we reviewed feedback on our website and brand to see what staff and partners thought. We knew we needed to make it easier to find content and saw that users wanted to be able to search by health topic, format, and date. To simplify our catalog of publications and work, we consolidated everything into one page and added a new global search feature.
To streamline the site navigation, we tested several menu structures, based off of other public health institutes’ websites for consistency. We also compared several software and content management systems to determine which would be best for our desired functionality and easy for staff to manage and maintain.
After the build was complete, we sought feedback on our new design. The communications team sent out an internal usability survey, had staff participate in a remote testing exercise, and held a board focus group to review the new design. In addition to having users try out site features, we asked participants to consider whether the website showcased THI’s mission and reflected our values.
The New Structure
Welcome to our new site! Our goal was to modernize, upgrade, simplify pages, and expand functions from the old site. Some new features and what to look for:
THI’s Our Work page allows users to search through our past work by date, topic, and format (e.g., report, blog, convening, etc.) using simple dropdown menus. The search features support cross referencing as well. For instance, if a user chooses “Primary Care” under topic, then chooses “Convening” under format, then uses “Any Year,” the search will return all convenings on primary care across all years. If you have previously bookmarked a THI page the link will be redirected to the new page shortly. We will continue to add past work into our new database.
Our Strategies and Expertise
Rather than being spread across several pages we have combined our strategies and expertise to make it easy for you to learn how THI advances the health of all. One new feature is that the expertise section auto populates the most recent work in that area (e.g., Primary Care 101: Webinar is a recent convening on the topic of primary care).
Work with Us
Work with Us explains our major services as an organization: Evaluation and Research, Convening, eLearning and Training, and Communications. Under each service the page automatically displays the most recent projects each department has produced. This page also includes a form where visitors can describe their needs and get in touch with a THI team member to see how we can collaborate.
The Path Ahead
We started this website process six months ago and the communications team will continue to improve, expand, and enhance the content and organization to share our vision of healthy people, healthy communities with the world.
Take a moment to look at our new site. We have already received positive feedback on surveys and in focus groups with users stating that the site reflects THI’s values, mission, and vision with a modern design. The new site consolidates pages by 76% compared to the previous site, hopefully reducing the number of clicks required to find information.
We in the communications team hope users will be able to find our high-quality, evidence-based publications useful, and that the restructured site helps people find what they need. If you can’t find what you’re looking for check back frequently as the communications team will be adding over a decade’s worth of public health content. Send feedback to [email protected], and if you find any bugs, please report them here.