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Hospital Website Redesign

Client: San Francisco Dept of Public Health
Duration: 3 week sprint
My Role: Information Architecture & Content Strategy
The Team
  • Atom Edwards, UX Visual Design, Prototyping

  • Colin Jackson, Usability Testing and Accessibility Protocols

  • Laurinda Alcorn, Information Architecture & Content Strategy


Laguna Honda.PNG

Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center is an acute care hospital owned and operated by the City of San Francisco, that provides skilled nursing and rehabilitation to 780 seniors and adults with disabilities.


Known as "the nation's last Almshouse," it was opened in 1866, and focuses on the needs of the chronically ill. Its mission is to provide high-quality, culturally competent long-term care and rehabilitation services to the diverse communities of San Francisco.

Problem Statement
My Role: Information Architecture

Laguna Honda Hospital's website has not been actively groomed in several years. The website also had pre-existed its parent organization's current website. As a result, there was a lack of congruency in the visual appearance and navigational structure of the website Laguna Honda Hospital & Rehabilitation Center, compared to its parent, San Francisco Health Network.


Another major concern was the need to clarify that Laguna Honda Hospital & Rehabilitation Center is not a Level-1 Trauma Center. As a provider of care to the chronically ill, Laguna Honda's Hospital does not include an Emergency Department. Rather, Zuckerberg SF General Hospital is San Francisco's full-service Trauma/ Emergency Center. The content designed for the Laguna Honda website redesign needed to make that distinction very clear.

Laguna Honda Hospital's website was written with a voice that focused on the perspective of the institution, rather than the customer, which in this case is the patient or the patient's family members. The result was a lack of engagement with the community through its website, further exacerbated by a recent scandal pertaining to poor quality care and inappropriate behavior around the patients by the staff.

Our Solution
  • Featured a simplified navigation bar, reflecting a content strategy designed to prioritize patient-centered messaging and elevate the most sought-after site information

  • Provided original, researched and sourced content, designed for use on both the  SF Health Network and the platforms

  • Reinforced the message that Laguna Honda Hospital is a vital and unique part of the SF Health Network

  • Promoted an attention-grabbing yet non-invasive homepage button for emergency service seeking viewers and redirects them to Zuckerberg SF General Hospital

  • Fully adhered to the World Wide Web Consortium’s AAA accessibility standards with our improved Style Guide - the original Laguna Honda site only met AA

My Role: Information Architecture & Content Strategy

As a part of our website redesign, the content was rewritten, and much new content created, to change the focus to the patient (customer), instead of the institution.

  1. Engaging the User through Information Architecture

The goal of Information Architecture is to develop a navigational design that attracts and retains a user. In my initial phase, I considered the overall information ecosystem, for an institution such as this one, and its customers (patients).


  • Examined the navigational structure of the websites for about 40 other skilled nursing / rehabilitation organizations, and found that there was very little consistency between them.

  • Performed a detailed information audit of the pre-existing Laguna Honda website.

  • Grouped the proposed information architecture into broad concepts that might be applied to other Hospitals, Nursing Homes, or Medical Centers.

  • Tested these concepts through card sorting and usability testing.

The resulting initial broad topics were:

Highlights of Our Deliverables

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   2. Designing the Navigational Schema

As indicated in the style-guide for, the navigational buttons were worded with active verb statements first.

Other considerations were based on Google Analytics reports of traffic on the pre-existing site. The most common activity of current users was finding out 1. How to call Laguna Honda 2. How to get to Laguna Honda and 3. How to Volunteer at Laguna Honda.

The first need was supported by placing phone numbers (context-relevant) on almost every new page written. The second need was addressed by creating an entirely new page, "Visit Laguna Honda," with extensive details and maps pertaining to getting there, and parking instructions. The third need (info about being a Volunteer) was given prominence on both the Home/Welcome page and the About Laguna Honda Page. Additionally, specific instructions about the proper place for Volunteers to park was included in the Visit Laguna Honda page.

Final Navigation
Final Navigational Buttons and Groups

The Navigational Schema also provided new space for a complete collection of pages describing every clinical, psyco-social, and cultural service that Laguna Honda provides to its patients ("Learn About Our Services"), a welcoming page ("Life at Laguna") addressing the information needs of those living there; and, highlighted the extent of cultural event opportunities held at Laguna in "Attend a Lecture or Program."

The Information Architecture was the key touch-point for meeting the major goals of this project.

Content, Content, Content!!

Another vital part of my role was the writing of 50 "articles," to be used as text for webpages on the new site. 


Additionally, I developed the Content Strategy document, which is designed as a guide for future website staff, as they continue to work on keeping the site current. The Content Strategy describes not only the type of pages that should be available through the site, but also discusses the voice, tone, and perspective, that should always be maintained on the site. The Content Strategy is designed to let the message about Laguna Honda on its website become more humanistic and empathetic than the previous site, over time.

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