Website and Patient Portal

We rebranded the company, created a complete design system, and developed a modern website with an integrated, HIPAA compliant patient portal.

Website and Patient Portal

The Challenge

AlzBetter provides dementia care training and patient engagement services for healthcare companies. Its marketing website was difficult to use, badly dated, and dependent on a mash-up of different Wordpress plugins; its patient portal faced similar usability and design challenges. As a small but growing company, AlzBetter had a modest budget and a short timeline. The goal was to update its brand identity, combine two different websites, and rethink the underlying architecture.

Getting Started

AlzBetter lacked any formal or informal guidelines to help us understand how to communicate and interact with its customers. So one of the first tasks was to develop a brand strategy based on market data and the domain knowledge of the founders.

We completed surveys with two different sets of stakeholders, then created summary profiles for the typical users we identified. That data, along with insights from the founders, allowed us to quickly assemble a unique brand strategy that defined what AlzBetter stands for and what separates it from the competition. The new logo, color scheme, and design system are all based on this brand strategy.

Updating the Logo

AlzBetter's logo was in desperate need of an upgrade. It was visually dated, employed a chunky italic typeface, and used an inexplicable color gradient. It also caused prospective customers to question the quality of AlzBetter's services.

As a first step, we wrote a summary creative brief based on the brand strategy. Then we developed several new logo prototypes and evaluated them against what we wanted the brand to represent. After narrowing the field, we went back to a cross-section of stakeholders to test the top three prototypes. That stakeholder feedback informed our decision and allowed us to make further refinements.

The result is a transformed, visually appealing logo that reflects AlzBetter's brand premise of combining patient engagement with analytics to improve healthcare outcomes. The new type face, Moon 2.0, is rounded, relaxed, and open, which supports AlzBetter's emphasis on relationships and empathy.

Website Redesign and Development

Once the logo was completed, we began to redesign the website from the ground up. We needed new content, layouts, and a site structure to support both a marketing website and a HIPAA compliant patient portal.

The result is a modern, responsive web app that provides a seamless experience across mobile, tablet, and desktop platforms. Families of dementia patients can evaluate their loved one's stage of dementia and and then register to save the results. More importantly, they can also add new ratings over time to chart the progression of the disease and access stage appropriate educational resources.

Patients and their families can also view protected healthcare information and resources. This feature triggered the need for HIPAA compliance, which we had to account for when designing our infrastructure.

Keeping Content Management Simple

One of the goals was to migrate off of WordPress and DotNetNuke because of functional limitations and security issues with their respective plugin ecosystems. However, both content management systems excel at making the publishing process accessible to non-developers. Creating a new blog post or updating a product description is as simple as logging in. No developer required.

To keep the publishing process easily accessible, we integrated Contentful, a cloud-based "headless" content management system. Content creators can log in to the Contentful website to create, update, and schedule content for publication, just as they would with WordPress. That content is then exposed through an API that any authorized front-end can consume. Contentful offers a generous free plan, which AlzBetter is now running on, as well as tiered subscriptions to accommodate growth.

Upgrading the Infrastructure

Once we solved the content management design constraint, we were able to upgrade AlzBetter to a modern technology stack on Amazon Web Services (AWS). We used node.js and Express as the primary server frameworks, along with React for the patient portal user interface. All the AWS services AlzBetter uses are covered under Amazon's Business Associate Addendum, or BAA, which is a requirement for HIPAA and HITECH compliance.

AlzBetter now runs separate staging and production VPNs, managed RDS database instances for both environments, and auto-scaled servers behind a load balancer. The entire production environment can be rebuilt and updated with a single dev/ops command. We also implemented unit, integration, and end-to-end tests that run every time new code is checked in.

Comprehensive testing and automated deployments to AWS meant we could move fast without breaking things. Migrating to open source software on AWS also had a nice side effect: AlzBetter's monthly bill is half the cost of one dedicated, HIPAA compliant server running Microsoft Windows.

Brand Access and Digital Asset Management

Creating or revising your brand identity is a major undertaking. The last thing you want is for all that effort to end up in a jumbled mess of files; think fifteen versions of your logo, each with a different shade of purple. We've all been there.

As a small, growing company, AlzBetter needed an easy way to manage access to its new brand identity and the rest of its digital assets. After launching the new website, we set up a style guide and asset library in Frontify. It took a couple of hours and falls within their generous free plan. You can read more about setting up a brand portal on Frontify in our blog.

Anyone at AlzBetter now can download a logo, the latest version of a sales piece in the proper format, or browse through their library of stock and custom photography. When AlzBetter hired a new e-learning professional, they were able to point her to the brand portal and she instantly had access to everything she needed to get started.

Back to Projects