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HHMI

A reinvigorated digital presence for a trusted institution

Elevating new strategic priorities

Established in 1953, HHMI is the largest private biomedical research institution in the United States, with a vibrant community of researchers, educators, students, and professionals. HHMI partnered with Teal to completely transform their online presence to better reflect the recent evolution of their strategic priorities. They also wanted a site that better positions HHMI as a leader that contributes meaningfully to the future of research and education.

Our partnership started with an overhaul of the digital expression of the HHMI brand. Teal helped the HHMI team adapt the website’s look & feel so that it better aligns with HHMI’s new strategic goals.

Collage of HHMI brand elements and explorations
HHMI homepage design

HHMI wanted to make it easier for people to understand who they are and what value they have to offer, so Teal worked closely with their team to update the website’s content strategy and clarify their messaging. This included diving deep into which pieces of content needed to be rewritten, elevated, or archived.

We developed content templates and edited and reviewing program content to make it more accessible. At the same time, we delivered best practices and guidance to help HHMI lean into their brand differentiators. The key to this was to elevate the programs and fellows that make HHMI unique. We also made a lot of technical and structure upgrades to ensure that content across the website is easily searchable, indexable, and connected.

HHMI program and alumni page within the context of the design system

Increased program engagement by 41%

Sample of HHMI photography

Optimizing the Storytelling Experience

HHMI has incredible stories to tell about the health outcomes that have been achieved through the research that they support. They’re also blessed with beautiful assets that can help to build emotional connections to their stories of impact. To help HHMI better tell these stories, Teal built them a flexible, scalable design system. Our design system is composed of a library of components that lets the HHMI team create compelling narratives with both short- and long-form content. We also included media-rich components to make sure they are elevating the scientific innovation that makes this organization so unique.

Teal also curated a robust library of on-brand photography culled from HHMI’s thousands of images over the course of their 70 year history. By emphasizing images of  real scientists immersed in the work, we centered DEI in the curation process. This was critical for HHMI because they prioritize breaking down barriers within the scientific field, and authentic DEI is a long-held value for the organization.

HHMI Story detail page design with rich-media components
HHMI stakeholder collaboration on zoom
A Team Effort

Teal actively collaborated with the HHMI communications team throughout. We relied closely on each other to problem-solve, execute and articulate our proposed solutions to various stakeholders who weren’t members of the core web project team. This included presentations and town halls to gain buy-in with key programs leads, various editorial teams, and ultimately HHMI leadership. This was critical in making sure that the organization was bought into the changes and understood the potential of this critical communications and recruitment tool.

“I can’t express how much we’ve appreciated your smarts, hard work, and creative minds on this project. We’ve gotten so many compliments on how beautiful and intuitive the site is from our internal folks—including an effusive note from our CEO—and I am happy we can put the site out into the world so your work can shine.”

Kate Schuler

Creative Director, HHMI

Spreading the Word

This work would have been for nothing if people weren’t able to find the site in the first place. So we paid particular attention to SEO and Analytics throughout. In the content strategy phase, we included a technical SEO audit and offered redirect mapping guidance to set HHMI up for success as we set up their GA4 environment. We also developed custom dashboards for GA4 so the HHMI team is able to easily parse the data and monitor the performance metrics that matter most to the organization. Some key elements of our SEO support included:

HHMI analytics dashboard and mobile page designs
  • Trained the HHMI to become more proficient users of Google Analytics 4 & Google Search Console
  • Created customized Looker Studio report for HHMI’s communications team to use as a personalized HHMI website performance Dashboard
  • Created new analytics events mapped to program applications & career opportunities
  • Advised on tracking coverage to third-party properties including Workday and ARC (their in-house application server)

 

57% Improved Click-Through Rate (CTR) Across Major Countries and All Devices. This reflects a more engaging user experience and effective content relevance post-redesign.

87% Increase in international visibility with impressions for translated results nearly doubled, which underscores the site's broader global engagement post-redesign.

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