American Cancer Society Redesigns, Relaunches Website

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ACS's new website is committed to better serve the target audience of cancer patients, caregivers, medical professionals, and others seeking resources on cancer.

American Cancer Society
American Cancer Society

Cancer, by its very nature, creates questions and doubt.

Whether a person is diagnosed or someone close to them is diagnosed, the process of understanding the disease is almost a process of understanding themselves. So, the American Cancer Society tried to not only create an online platform with information, but an online community of people affected by cancer, either directly or indirectly.

But what's the best way to establish this kind of space, based on the technology available?

This became the question for ACS, as it decided to redesign and relaunch its website, cancer.org.

A hub of information

The American Cancer Society was founded in 1913. Then called the American Society for the Control of Cancer (ASCC), the organization's mission was to raise public awareness in support of making progress against the disease.

Today, the American Cancer Society is a global leader in the fight against cancer, working to save lives – by helping people stay well and get well; by finding cures; and by fighting back against the disease.

There are nearly 14.5 million people alive in the United States alone who have survived cancer. In fact, more than 500 lives are being saved each day that would have otherwise been lost to cancer, according to the ACS.

As result of the organization's efforts, ACS is one of the most searched websites for cancer information. The content serves everyone from patients to caregivers, students and healthcare providers.

While successful, the ACS website did face challenges, and ones that were far greater than the organization could take on alone.

Redesigning with precision

In 2016, ACS met with R2i, a digital agency, to try and rebuild cancer.org.

The website, which went through a redesign, and a foundational re-platform onto Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), would have to meet specific objectives.

“[The website needed to be better at]  being responsive for better user experience across devices, and it needed to better serve a Hispanic audience. [It] now has a fully-functional Spanish equivalent site,” says Tracy Pogue, director of project management, marketing technology at R2i.

Other key objectives included:

  • Building improved navigation paths to help users find information and resources quickly, including a Cancer A-Z Glossary

  • Migrating 10,000+ pages of content from ACS' legacy content management system to AEM

  • Creating a robust news center, complete with content tagged by cancer type and other important topics, to allow users to filter news with one-touch access; and

  • Developing 12 web templates to give ACS site managers flexibility to build custom pages, while adhering to brand and design guidelines.

These tools, according to Pogue, would enable ACS to better serve the target audience of cancer patients, caregivers, medical professionals, and others seeking resources on cancer.

The redesign to accommodate these functions required modern design and UX features, intuitive navigation, a mobile-friendly experience, and sophisticated Adobe Marketing Cloud technology, enabling faster access to content, and enhanced accessibility.

The companies accomplished all of this in time for a soft-launch in mid-January, before a full launch on World Cancer Day February 4.

A new-age look with an age-old theme

By migrating the site from their legacy content management system to Adobe AEM, R2i empowered American Cancer Society's internal teams with the ability to not only create and update new pages, but consistently improve site performance to ensure that site visitors are receiving a valuable digital experience.

Cancer.org serves as a comprehensive collection of cancer information for patients, survivors, caregivers, and volunteers,” says Renee Ducre, enterprise web marketing leader at ACS. “The new site underscores our commitment to making crucial cancer information easily accessible to those who need it.”

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