After winning a competitive tender, Icon's digital team commenced work on the redesign and redevelopment of Royal Melbourne Hospital’s website in late 2014.
Steeped in history, the RMH is Victoria’s first hospital, providing care to the general public since 1848. Needless to say, Icon’s digital team were proud to take on a job for such a significant institution.
Following a period of intensive scoping and consultation with key user groups, the Information Architecture was finalised, wireframes blueprinted and concept designs locked down to enable the first bite from a complex production schedule. This type of preliminary consultation is critical to projects of this size, with separate sessions run with patients and families, health professionals, key supporters, and researchers.
The new website and domain www.thermh.org.au brought together three separate websites for the first time, including Melbourne Health, the Royal Melbourne Hospital, and the Royal Melbourne Hospital Foundation. One of the greatest challenges was presenting dense, copy heavy information in a format that was as relevant to patients and visitors (minus the jargon) as it was to health professionals and hospital staff.
Fittingly, near on nine months of production later, we gave birth to a healthy baby! We’re pretty certain this had something to do with parking in the Royal Women’s Hospital carpark for all those client site visits.
From a content management point of view, the real magic of the new site is under the Drupal CMS hood.
The heavily customised CMS is largely database driven with an “enter once, use multiple times” approach allowing the webmaster and content managers the ability to update content once across multiple pages of the site. This was a both a key requirement and development challenge, particularly given the critical nature of some of the information weighed against the need for performance and page speed loading – especially for hospital visitors accessing information on mobile.
The end result: a stunning website solidifying Melbourne Health’s position at the forefront of "care, research and learning" while elevating the importance of community support of the RMH through the Royal Melbourne Hospital Foundation’s ongoing activities.
Icon’s digital team is grateful for the opportunity to work on a project that will have a tangible health impact on our local community. Special mention goes to the Public Affairs & Media Department of Melbourne Health, plus The Plannery for client-side project management and tackling the behemoth task of consolidating the 1500+ pages from the previous site into a leaner and digestible 500.
All websites need to be mobile friendly, especially now that Google is penalising sites in their search results who aren't. RMH's responsive site serves users legible content across desktops, tablets and smart phones. And finger friendly navigation and buttons make accessing information and services a quick and simple process.