Rejuvenating the digital identity of AZ Groeninge

As a contrast to AZ Groeninge’s innovative services, its online hub wasn’t exactly up to par with modern corporate website standards - whether that pertained to aesthetics, content or user experience. The trouble? A hospital has many stakeholders to abide by: patients, the medical staff and other departments. 

To navigate this complex challenge, AZ Groeninge called in Duke & Grace’s help. A highly advanced search engine and a fully fleshed out user roles and rights system are just two of the showpieces of our collaboration with AZ Groeninge.

A focus on friendly faces

The first challenge was to upgrade the hospital’s digital identity. AZ Groeninge wanted to avoid stoic, clinical imagery that’s typical of the medical field, and instead opted for a warmer, more personal look that aligned well with their values. We circumvented this concern by employing close-up images to signal cooperation and kindness instead of standoffish, corporate photography. We also opted for the usage of rounded blocks of warm colors, taken from the corporate identity. Additionally, we reserved a central space for the search button, to literally and figuratively focus on the help AZ Groeninge provides.

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“For the logo we used the AnySurfer guidelines: we heightened the contrast in order to keep the website accessible to the visually impaired.”

Jonathan Decoster

Designer at Duke & Grace

Revamping the website

Once the digital identity was approved, we could proceed to the next step, which proved to be the most complicated step of the process. To streamline the functionality and efficiency of the new website, we organised countless workshops with the different stakeholders. We opted for a content-based website in Drupal, with customization options for user roles and rights. Taking into account the globally available budget, we delivered a top-notch website with many multifunctional features. This would serve as a solid base to allow continuous development in the long run. Finally, the icing on the cake: we developed a state-of-the-art search engine with an abundance of edge cases to allow for medical typos. Integrating fuzzy search, synonyms, autocomplete and a new filter system into the search tool, visitors have easy access to any available information on the website.

“The combination of a prominent search bar, a smart system of top tasks, chat-integration and short chains linking to relevant information have sculpted AZ Groeninge’s new website into a trustworthy knowledge hub that gives easy and quick access to information visitors might need. ”

Christophe Van Meerbeeck

Project Manager at Duke & Grace

Saying we took on this challenge with a healthy dose of enthusiasm is quite the understatement: we ended up focusing on this project during our yearly company hackathon. The aim was to improve the patient experience for the youngest among us, so for 48 uninterrupted hours the whole team at Duke & Grace collectively racked their brains to aid AZ Groeninge’s tiniest patients in understanding and coping with their stay. The final result: the Squishy concept.

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Attracting fresh-faced applicants

The war on talent exists in all sectors, the medical one included. AZ Groeninge felt their job site didn’t correspond to their digital identity and company culture, citing the need for employer branding possibilities and more control in managing the acquisition flow of candidates. The bright side? We’d already doubled down on the friendly, accessible atmosphere on the main website - not only pertaining to content, but also to UX and design. Duke & Grace further responded to their request by integrating the separate job site in the corporate website, linking the site to the existing HR-tool by an API, fusing the two content management systems (as the information might be relevant to both patients and applicants) and cutting down on update, hosting and license costs. 

The end result? An easy-to-navigate website, fit for a warm company. Do you wonder what your optimized website would look like?


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