Website Redesign Case Study: HospitalistsNow
by Geordie Dudley | May 27th, 2015
HospitalistsNow (HNI) was founded in 2009 to provide inpatient physician services to hospitals. The purpose of these management services is to improve workflow and reduce the administrative burden on individual hospitals. And while HNI’s product offerings are advancing with added technology over the years, their web presence lagged a bit behind. Here’s how they took on their first website redesign since 2011.
The discovery portion of a website’s development is a crucial stage. It’s here that the main goals of the website are identified, from who the target audience is that the client is reaching out towards, to the topics that substantiate who the client is and what sets them apart from their competitors. It’s from this tension between audience and client that a website’s role begins to take shape.
If a client does not have a solid sense of who their own company is or what message they’re trying to relay to their target audience, the project can slip into several pitfalls:
- If the team is unable to unearth a solid angle for the website and its role in the client’s relationship with their target audience, deadlines and a rush to put anything online can make the final website feel muddled and bland.This, inevitably, makes the client unhappy with the end product and the company who did it.
- The discovery section can become much more intensive (and costly) as the team mines for more and more relevant information among the client stakeholders.This can raise the cost of the project considerably, resulting in sometimes costly change orders that readjust the original scope of the project.
- A project sponsor may have completely different ideas than their superiors, making the revision process a nightmare as the client begins to deliver changes that completely contradict the original work.This is the most dangerous option, as the work to change things once built becomes much more difficult and costly than during the discovery or IA/Design phase.
Luckily, HNI did not have this issue at all. Thanks to the involved participation of the Hospitalists Now project sponsor, Todd Kislak, PINT had a very clear set of goals and deliverables that aligned with the company’s objectives and the project’s scope of work. This clear vision can be seen in the final result:
- A website that clearly speaks to its target audience with confidence and style
- Resources allotted for discovery were repurposed towards fine tuning design details, giving the project greater flexibility to achieve HNI’s goals
- A swift revision process, where only minor changes were needed – and some that were actually implemented by Todd himself through the website’s robust Content Management System
“In selecting PINT, I wanted a boutique company that was totally focused on website design,not just another plug-in program for some large communications firm. PINT has the right combination of creativity, service and execution to get the job done.”
Todd KislakChief Development Officer, HospitalistsNow
Information Architecture and Web Design
The clear goals from HNI’s team made the information architecture and design a much more enjoyable process for all those involved.
With HNI’s specific vision of positioning themselves as the optimal value-added solution to the next generation of healthcare management, PINT’s information architect easily identified what needed to be highlighted on the website to reach HNI’s audience of physicians and hospitals:
- HNI’s service offerings:
- Management Services
- Full Practice Outsourcing
- Technology Solutions
- Information about the company:
- HNI’s advanced technology
- HNI’s trustworthiness and reliability
The revised site structure makes each of these items clear from the start, right on the homepage. And as users drilldown into the site, more detail is revealed in smaller portions on every subpage within.
Considering the site structure early on also helped determine the need for sections dedicated to:
- Physicians and how HNI could help them
- Hospitals and how HNI can improve their service
- Who HNI is and what their beliefs are
This created the backbone of the website, an already rock-solid foundation for everything else to be built upon. As you can see on this subpage example- the readability for these key points and audience members was clearly considered.
When it came to selecting a CMS (content management system), the PINT team asked HNI stakeholders a variety of questions. The questions related to:
- How they planned to administer the site internally
- Existing technologies they use in-house
- Security concerns
- Comfort level with different technologies and responsibilities
There are many questions to ask when choosing a CMS, but finding answers can help you settle on a product that will serve your organization’s needs for years to come. This helps avoid costly technical makeovers in the near future.
After going through the selection process, the PINT team eventually recommended the PINT Web Platform, or PWP, to the HNI team. It was chosen for its ease of use, security benefits, and scalability for adding features in the future.
One such future addition is a Careers and Recruitment section, that will allow HNI’s recruitment team to publish new job listings on the fly. By designing it with full access to the recruiters in mind, HNI can publish one new job listing, and have it updated to multiple places within the website where a jobseeker can find it: including searching by state, city, job type, or shift type. This advanced integration with the jobs section reduces the overhead for regular maintenance dramatically; in other words, the recruiters can directly update the website in one place, and not have to go through multiple parties to get it done.
However, with multiple users regularly accessing and updating the website, the potential risk of unintended publications or alterations to the website are high. To compensate, the accounts used by the recruitment team are restricted to only allow access to their applicable sections. This ensures HNI’s website stays running with a polished sheen, an integral part of their branding and online presence.
The implementation phase for the site flowed smoothly. A key takeaway from this is that the information architecture and design parts of the project are definitely building blocks for the subsequent phases of a website redesign.
Those interested in recreating this type of success would do well to spend time on the “research and strategy” part of their website redesign project.
Responsive Web Design
Including responsive composites in the design phase allowed PINT’s developers to make the new HNI website mobile friendly—viewable on a desktop, tablet, or other mobile device during implementation. The user experience is now optimized for viewing the site on a desktop, tablet, or other mobile device. Responsive web design (RWD) is the most popular solution for addressing mobile visitors at the moment. Using RWD may change how images are displayed across devices, but it has advantages:
- Reduces laborious scrolling
- Expands buttons that are too small to click with a finger
- Hides animations and other features that could slow load time on a mobile connection
The result is a site that better presents key information and CTAs (calls to action) for users, no matter what type of device they use to visit the site.
What are the next steps for HNI now that their site is live? The first priority is the careers section discussed earlier. But other options include:
- Setting up more advanced tracking options in the HNI Google Analytics installation
- A/B testing CTA’s and other site elements
- Providing more in-depth SEO (search engine optimization) efforts
- Developing more interactive features to explain HNI services and technology
Your Website’s Future
Interested in working with a web development agency that welcomes you into the process? We’re always happy to talk about websites. Let’s chat today.