NIH National Center for Biotechnology Information

User Research Yields Intuitive and Effective Workflow


The National Center for Biotechnology Information at the National Institutes of Health struggled with customer experience. A robust process led AgencyQ to develop an intuitive and effective portal for scientists, doctors and researchers to find and report key information.


The Challenge

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) is a division of the National Library of Medicine within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is responsible for developing new information technologies to aid in the understanding of fundamental molecular and genetic processes that control health and disease.

NCBI was mandated to improve their customer experience (CX), making it easier for scientists, doctors and researchers to find and report key information. NCBI’s PubMed is the largest library of published medical research. However, outdated and inefficient processes coupled with limited bandwidth were negatively impacting user satisfaction. To resolve this, NCBI partnered with AgencyQ to improve their CX and overall digital strategy.


The Solution

To gain a clearer understanding of NCBI’s diverse user base and their needs, AgencyQ performed user research to develop personas and locate user pain points. Having identified the submissions portal as a key opportunity for CX improvement, AgencyQ carried out user experience (UX) exercises for streamlining the process of submitting data to NCBI. This led to AgencyQ developing more intuitive and effective workflows for users, around which the new portal site would be redesigned and rebuilt.

Additionally, AgencyQ worked with the Medical Genetics Group (MGG) within NCBI, to develop a cohesive marketing strategy around their events schedule and user habits. To reach MGG’s target audiences, AgencyQ audited and provided recommendations for existing resources, mapped out a digital engagement strategy and created a set of informative marketing collateral pieces including digital, print, and video resources.

NIH-Case Study-2021-img2.jpg

The Results

Qualitative improvements have enabled significant progress toward NCBI’s directive. The redesign of the submissions portal will greatly improve user experience, leading to higher submission success rates and decreasing the burden on NCBI’s helpdesk. AgencyQ’s rigorous sprint reviews and feedback processes ensure efficient progress is made against NCBI’s objectives and serve the mission of the NIH.

NIH-Case Study-2021-img3.jpg