Sanger Institute: Website Content Strategy

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is one of the world’s leading centres for genomic discovery and innovation in healthcare, renowned for the leading role they played in sequencing the human genome. 

When you’re one of the world’s leading genomic research organisations, it’s important that your website and associated communications really demonstrate your excellence and innovation. In the sprit of scientific advancement, providing true accessibility to your knowledge, facilities, services and achievements is equally important.

Struggling with a website that was out-dated and no longer felt to represent the outstanding and innovative work of the Institute, a new website was called for.

Pickle Jar Communications was commissioned in partnership with digital agency NewCity (based in the USA) to overhaul the Institute’s website. We were specifically responsible for developing a content strategy and plan using research and insight’s provided through NewCity’s discovery work (conducted with some involvement from our team) and influencing the final site, as designed and developed by our colleagues at NewCity. (See NewCity’s case study of their work on this project).

A key challenge for this project was the need to cater for a wide range of target audiences, with varied levels of understanding of genomics. This could range from a member of the general public searching for information relating to a relative’s health issue, through to world-leading clinicians, bioinformaticians, and molecular biologists seeking data, tools and detailed research insights.

Instead of trying to develop a “one size fits all” approach to content creation, a key part of our content strategy was to devise reading-level guidance, with four structured levels applied to different content types across the site depending on the target audience for that page or section.

Raising the profile of individuals working at the Institute was also an important part of the strategy, since often site visitors were interested to know about individual staff and their research interests. Our work heavily focused on providing content guidance for staff to be able to produce engaging personal profiles on the site.

In all, we developed the overarching content strategy, content style guidance, and produced completed page tables to inform the overall content creation for key sections of the site. Our colleagues at NewCity led the rest.

See the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute’s website.

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  • Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
  • Autumn 2014 - Summer 2015

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