New Design System Streamlines Internal Processes 

Revolutionizing Web Design: How NIH's Biotech Center Boosts User Experience.

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Implementing a design system for their website has allowed the National Center for Biotechnology Information at the National Institutes of Health to quickly launch responsive and accessible web pages that follow brand guidelines and have a consistent look and user experience. 

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) that advances science and health by providing access and tools for investigating biomedical and genomic data.

The effectiveness of the NBCI website has been hampered by an outdated, nonresponsive design and a laborious editing process requiring multiple manual quality assurance and verification steps. To improve their customer experience (CX) and overall digital strategy they have embarked on a multifaceted project with AgencyQ.  Due to an internal structure with siloed departments and development teams, keeping sites consistent, usable, and accessible was a serious challenge. This meant finding a new way to manage content and design seamlessly, in a manner that better utilizes staff time and is compliant with current federal website guidelines, was a critical facet of the project.  

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The Solution

In consultation with internal stakeholders including product owners, subject matter experts, developers, and designers, AgencyQ focused on delivering a beautiful, usable, accessible design system based on the U.S. Web Design System (USWDS) with built-in styling and compliance. Included in this is a design library in Figma, a style guide and clear design guidelines. This was paired with a new CMS managed with plug and play tools that enables developers to quickly create new pages that meet requirements.  

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The Results

NCBI has a beautiful new website coming soon, one that will be responsive, accessible, follow brand guidelines and have a consistent look and user experience. Internal teams are excited to get started with the new design system and CMS, which will make common tasks significantly faster and easier. For example, on the old site, implementing an alert banner would take, at best, three to four hours. With the new site featuring the design system built by AgencyQ, it will take five to ten minutes.  

The design system reduces the level of effort required for developers and allows them to quickly add new components or even create and launch new pages. It allows different teams to manage and build their own pages while maintaining a consistent experience across all NCBI pages. This both improves CX and streamlines processes, allowing staff at NCBI more time to focus on their core mission.

Contact us to find out how a design system can benefit your organization while helping to future-proof your website and making it easy to create and launch new webpages with an accessible, intuitive tool. 

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