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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

Taking a Measured, Strategic Approach to Discovery

TCTMD is an encyclopedic website, with tens of thousands of articles, videos, slide presentations, and more. And with 16 years of organic sprawl, the difference between where CRF’s website was and where we needed to take it was enormous. With an eye on our 6-month deadline, we led  rapid research and discovery to understand the site from multiple perspectives—starting with stakeholder interviews that surfaced goals, pain points, and priorities. We conducted a content audit to quantify  TCTMD’s content, decipher how it was structured, and assess its quality. Focus groups, user surveys clarified what was important to audiences. Technology analysis detailed existing infrastructure and opportunities. Peer analysis placed TCTMD in context with its peers.  And our resulting Strategy Brief summarized our findings—creating a roadmap for our teams to unite brand, content, design and technology and deliver high-value brand experiences for TCTMD’s expert audiences.

System Development

A Robust System That Support TCTMD & its Members

We built in Drupal with complex features to support its paid members, including Single-Sign-On, tiered member accounts, member-only content, centralized user management, external video content, automated presentation publication, SOLR search, and custom application APIs. Constructive worked closely with the TCTMD team and technology partners to architect an AWS cloud-based system to handle the load and evolve with their needs—creating a highly-available, scalable infrastructure with automated deployments, elastic scaling, healing, notification, and more.

Content Strategy & Information Architecture

Building the Blueprint for High-Value, Content-Rich Experiences

In designing the user experience for, our number one priority was do deepen content engagement for a specialized, sophisticated audience. Working from the audience archetypes in our Strategy Brief, we worked with the Cardiovascular Research Foundation’s team to design pathways for exploration—starting by making it incredibly easy for medical professionals to find what they need; then expand their perspective by exposing visitors to related content from across TCTMD’s departments—strengthening the site’s critical ad revenue in the process. To support TCTMD’s volume of resources, news, and editorial content, we created a taxonomy that displays a breadth of relevant options in every view. Wireframes map out page templates that manage TCTMD’s content density—not over-stuffing pages and bombarding users to ensure a great reading experience. And site search ensures content accessibility, with powerful faceted filtering tools that would be powered by SOLR.


Establishing a New Visual Identity for the Brand

Mindful of our short timeline, our design team worked on a rapid rebranding while our UX design team developed TCTMD’s new content strategy and information architecture. Simultaneous to information architecture design, we worked with CRF’s team on a rebranding for TCTMD that would serve as the visual foundation for both the website and the organization’s print and event communications. Two key considerations were ensuring that TCTMD worked within CRF’s master brand, and that its new visual identity would support a brand architecture for TCTMD sub-brands and departments. The resulting design modernizes TCTMD’s brand, while a color and typography system and sub-brand identities provide the structure needed to support brand consistency across all communications in different media and venues.

Website Design

Designing for Density and Engagement

With TCTMD’s new visual identity as our starting point, we transformed wireframes and technical 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 guides users through content-heavy pages. Videos and presentations, two of site’s the most valuable content, are elevated, with calls-to-action that 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.

Website Design

Designing an Editorial Outlet to Inform, Engage, and Activate

As one of the leading contributors on news and opinion pieces about cardiovascular surgery and medicine, TCTMD had a robust editorial content hub. With feature news pieces, conference and events coverage, and opinion editorials, the organization has elevated the voices of journalists and clinicians to drive deeper engagement with the field for years. Working with the TCTMD to bring their design and engagement goals to life, a critical part of our engagement involved designing the space for migrated and new content to flow harmoniously Given the volume of traffic on their editorial content, we also worked with the organization to ensure that their news would serve as a driver of ad revenue and equipped them with the tools and technical infrastructure to sustain their critical cardiovascular reporting. 

Website Design

Creating a Digital Ecosystem to Connect TCTMD’s Audiences

For years, TCTMD has provided several avenues for engagement to meet their audiences’ needs. One of their most meaningful avenues involves bringing researchers, clinicians, and reporters together at conferences and cardiovascular events. To ensure that TCTMD could serve as not only the authority on reporting for these events—a key pillar of their editorial coverage—we worked closely with the TCTMD to develop a conference and events hub so that the organization could directly connect people to those cardiovascular events and share the slides for those who couldn’t attend. We worked closely with the team to develop the conference hub and help TCTMD serve as the industry’s go-to source on learning about and signing up for cardiovascular events. 

Website Design

Meeting Audiences’ Needs No Matter Their Specialty

The range of content needed to inform the clinicians working in cardiovascular surgery and medicine is diverse; and to meet the needs of audiences across specialties and sectors, we designed the TCTMD website to break down content by specialty. With the option to filter through nine different specialties ranging from COVID-19 to cardiovascular policies, each section provides specialty-specific information, news coverage, conference opportunities and events slides, and videos. The specialty silos activated a core part of TCTMD’s development strategy, to quickly steer visitors to the topics and information they needed, improving the user experience, driving subscriptions, and increasing ad revenue. 

Outcome & Growth

A Years-long Partnership Founded on Growth

Once we completed our website redesign with TCTMD, the organization saw increases in subscriptions, engagement, audience reach, organic traffic, ad revenue, and sponsorships. More critically, the clinicians, researchers, and journalists in the field of cardiovascular medicine and surgery had a new digital hub for news, information, events, and connection. To build on this growth and accelerated impact, TCTMD continued their engagement with Constructive to continue our exploration of how we can best meet audiences’ needs and achieve TCTMD’s organizational goals. Together, we continue to iterate and push our thinking on expanding the reach, driving revenue, and improving the field. 

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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