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Cardiovascular Research Foundation

A Breakthrough in Medical Nonprofit Education Website Design

The Cardiovascular Research Foundation is a leading medical research and educational nonprofit dedicated to improving the survival and quality of life for people suffering from heart and vascular disease. Looking to re-launch, the leading destination for interventional cardiovascular medicine, CRF asked Constructive to lead a rapid, large-scale overhaul of a labyrinthian 16-year-old system in time for their annual conference.

Research & Digital Strategy

OK, so what's under the hood? is an encyclopedic website with tens of thousands of articles, online presentations, videos, and more. We quickly got to work auditing the website and working with CRF stakeholders to understand it from multiple perspectives. Fixing TCTMD would require rethinking the system from the inside out, as its problems were as much about the backend as it was the experience visitors had after arriving. Data was stuck in Episerver’s Ektron CMS, an expensive platform that was difficult to use, failed TCTMD’s complex content needs, limited its functionality, and caused errors delivering gated, member-only content.

Technology Strategy

What are all the integrations we need to plan for?

We first defined business requirements; then architected a powerful platform with features like OKTA and Salesforce single-sign-on and centralized user management, Britecove online video integration, automated presentation slide processing through Ovation, Apache SOLR search & filtering, and custom application APIs. We recommended Drupal 8 for the backend, cutting CMS costs to zero; then made sure the platform would have the power it needed by architecting a highly-available, scalable infrastructure on Amazon Web Services with automated deployments, elastic scaling, healing, and more.

Information Architecture

We're going to need to plan for delivering a lot of content!

Audiences turn to TCTMD for its wealth of video, slide presentations, news articles, and conference information. The site also relies on ad revenue, making long site visits essential. So we made content findability and exploration our top priorities. Focus groups and user surveys clarified informed user personas based on real audience needs. We then created a taxonomy that supports existing content and future growth, and that elegantly displays a breadth of content in every view. And to ensure audiences have a great reading experience across devices, we designed over 30 responsive page template types that meet individual content needs.

Logo & Identity Design

Let's use this opportunity to improve visual branding. wasn’t the only thing that hadn’t seen a major update in 16 years. Its brand was equally stuck in the past. Though time was tight, we recommended a rebranding to create visual foundation for the website, print, and event communications. Their new visual identity integrates with CRF’s master brand, and provides a simple scalable architecture for TCTMD sub-brands and departments. The resulting design modernizes TCTMD’s brand, providing a new color and typography design system and sub-brand identities to support consistency across communications in different media, channels, and venues.

Website Design

It's time to bring all this research and planning to life!

With a visual identity to expand into website design, we transformed wireframes and specifications into a crisp, clean, and contemporary brand experience. In keeping with the site’s status as a leading destination of news and education, leverages trends in news and media website design to present a premium brand. A clear visual hierarchy indicating content departments, topics, and formats helps guide users through content-heavy pages. Videos and presentations—two of site’s the most valuable content, are elevated. And calls-to-action focus attention on member-only content to help drive subscriptions. delivers a content-rich user experience with advanced multimedia functionality that makes accessing the ideas and information within a pleasure.

Conversion Design

How can we increase subscriptions without overselling?

While The Cardiovascular Research Foundation is a nonprofit, supports a fee-for-service model that generates revenue for the organization through website subscriptions. To increase conversions, we designed calls-to-action throughout the site experience elevating premium content and other member benefits. Once users click to learn more, a focused, direct-response sign-up page makes it quick and easy to register and take full advantage of everything TCTMC has to offer.

Our Client's Experience

“Constructive completely understood the challenges we were facing in our space. Instead of just having one person who was familiar with our project, their entire team was fully invested from day one. What makes them such a great partner is that they are committed to making our success theirs, and vice-versa. They remain fully available to us, often going above-and-beyond to make sure we succeed. We don’t feel like we hired a company to perform a website redesign, but rather found a partner to work with us and bring our vision to life.”

Stephanie Gutch, Director of Digital, TCTMD/CRF
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