There are numerous reasons for having a web presence, but many would argue visibility and credibility rank at the top of the list. Nowadays the Internet is the primary go-to for information of all kinds — including information on science and medicine. In an effort to stay in front of its multiple audiences and provide valuable information, Duke Cancer Institute’s website has undergone some renovation and remodeling of late.
Duke Cancer Institute recently launched two websites: a public facing Duke Cancer Institute website and DCI Intranet (internal) site. In step, The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center also launched its own newly designed website. The three sites are built with Drupal, now the leading platform for web content management among global enterprises, government organizations, higher education institutions and non-profits.
“Our new sites are modern, easier to navigate, visually appealing and allow faculty and staff to easily locate information they are seeking,” said Tim Steele, clinical research informatics manager whose precision team was instrumental in the launch of all three sites. “The newly designed websites also allow staff to direct their constituents, including researchers, referring physicians, peer institutions and patients, to useful, many times vital, information.”
The sites now also offer multimedia capabilities, social media integration, a member search, and news feeds or blogs.
“Our new site is an important engagement and marketing tool and will help visitors learn more about us,” said Ellen Stainback, who oversaw the refurbishing of The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor site. “Our website helps us to broadcast breaking science at Duke and acts as a tool for physicians and researchers who want to learn more about the center and its programs.”
Many online strategists claim visual content wins. They recommend combining visual messages with short bursts of information to maximize the chance of a brand message being both heard and processed. According to researchers, visuals, including video, are processed 60,000 times faster than text.
The new sites contain rich, professionally shot photography. Duke Cancer Institute’s homepage features a full-width video with scenes illustrating the four pillars of its strategic narrative: Critical Mass of Talent, Game-changing Research, Synchronous Collaborations and Integrated Patient Care. All three sites showcase Duke Cancer Institute’s renowned leaders and rising stars — global front-runners in science, medicine and technology.
The Clinical Trials section is perhaps the most visited area of the site. The new platform offers a more robust search to allow visitors to look for trials related to specific investigators. Still, the DCI IT team is working to improve and build on the current design's functionality.
"Duke Cancer Institute IT is continually striving to improve how information is presented via the clinical trials module," said Chad McLamb, DCI IT web developer. "With the assistance of DCI leadership teams, we are planning to expand the capabilities of our clinical trials display."
All three sites offer a mobile-responsive design, allowing sites to scale to different resolutions — whether viewing from a computer monitor or mobile device such as a phone or tablet.
“Our responsive design ensures visitors have a tailored experience,” said Steele. “We no longer alienate our mobile visitors with a site that is difficult to navigate on a phone. The mobile design highlights information that is more relevant to visitors viewing the site on the go. Since most will likely be looking for directions, the button on the mobile responsive view is prominent.”
Duke Cancer Institute has migrated its blog from sites.duke.edu to the new website. The newly located DCI Blog continues to feature announcements, awards, funding opportunities, conferences, news on breaking science, patient stories and more. Duke Cancer Institute is where its audience is — social media. News on the site affords visitors a variety of social media platforms with which to post and share content. Visitors, including faculty and staff, are invited to subscribe to the blog by clicking on the “subscribe” button, located on the upper right of the blog landing page. Subscribers will receive a single email teasing that day's blog posts.
Duke Cancer Institute’s site now also offers a Calendar of Events providing an easy-to-access view of upcoming conferences, seminars and special events.
“We are delighted to have a dynamic site where we can engage and communicate with grateful patients — potential donors,” said Kathi Dantley Warren, senior executive director of development. “Our microsite enables us to share inspiring stories, communicate the many ways to engage and highlight those benefactors who, through their generous gifts, are moving us forward in the fight against cancer.”
According to DCI content managers, the site is an evergreen, updated nearly on a daily basis. The DCI Communications and IT offices invite constructive feedback and suggestions. To request edits to an existing page or to propose new content, please download this Web Update Form and submit as instructed. For quick fixes, such as correcting typos or adding brief bits of information (100 words or less) to a single page, please contact Julie Harbin. For more information or suggest a change to the site, please contact Karen E. Butler, director of Communications, DCI.
Note: For information related to The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center website, please contact Jenna Lewis. For Information related to to DCI Intranet, please contact Chad McLamb. The DCI Intranet provides DCI team members with access to resources, including on-brand marketing templates, specific to Duke Cancer Institute. Faculty and staff can locate resources related to Oncology CRU, employee resources, and DCI IT work request forms. The DCI Intranet is only available within the Duke network and not accessible to users outside of Duke.
Duke Cancer Institute and The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center would like to thank the DCI IT team, including Tim Steele, Bose Kamineni, Chad McLamb and Brian Coffelt, for assisting in the development and launch of the new websites. Your amazing talent, expertise and support are grately appreciated!