The Challenge

The Spine Research Institute at The Ohio State University faced a series of challenges when it came to improving the performance of their website. Guidelines from the university required that the group work within the existing Joomla! website template used by the Engineering school. While updates and improvements to the system are expected the existing platform provided limited opportunities for growth.

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OSU SRI website on desktop, tablet, and mobile screens

About the Client

The Spine Research Institute (SRI) is a unique group of multi-disciplinary experts and facilities dedicated to the prevention, evaluation, and treatment of spine and other musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The mission of the Spine Research Institute is to systematically improve the way we prevent, evaluate, and treat spine and other musculoskeletal disorders through causal pathways research, education, and the development of platform technologies.

OSU SRI website on tablet screen

Creative Solutions

We started by discussing short- and long-term objectives as well as an overview of the group’s engagement with the public. We discovered that they have three different user groups. Those are patients researching back pain, researchers ranging from peers at other universities to graduate students considering SRI and industry partners interested in improving the occurrence rate of back injuries within their workforce.

An underlying objective was to effectively communicate to each of these groups, as well as the public at large, the significant impact of low back and neck pain on our society.

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OSU SRI Layout

Custom Website Design

Even though we were working in a restrictive system our team was able to produce incredible designs for several high value pages. We started by reviewing every other Engineering website to identify elements that were both engaging and possible to recreate within their system. We then ran several tests to ensure elements like animated graphics on the homepage’s slider would work. We produced a new homepage design and multiple high designs for various subpages showing exactly how the layouts would look once built.

OSU SRI Layout

Navigation Overhaul

With over 60 items in their header menu a reorganization was a must. We broke the menu up into three categories; General Information, Transactional Information (Directions, Emails, etc.) and Resources for the three target user groups. The user resources make up the bulk of the site under Research, Injury Prevention and Patient Health.

OSU SRI Layout

Content Review

During the design project, the team at OSU SRI reviewed and made updates to the content on the site. We assisted by providing analytics and insight regarding which pages needed additional content and which areas needed new pages to better communicate the scope of services provided.

Custom Artwork and Photography

Parking near and navigating to the OSU SRI offices has always been a challenge. Simple Google maps are too busy to communicate effectively the best path to take. Robintek’s photographer visited campus and documented the path visitors should take. Our design team then provided custom artwork anchored with landmark images to make the process easier for all future visitors.

OSU SRI directions

SEO Guidance and Planning

We discussed Search Engine Optimization and how OSU SRI can better position themselves using analytics driven content strategy. We outlined possible methods of engaging on social media as well as using PPC tactics to better engage the portions of their audience that bring in new revenue for the group.

Results

The team at OSU SRI is proud of how their new site looks and functions. They have received positive feedback from users and they feel that the site better represents them, and speaks directly to their user groups.

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