The SCORE® Portal is an innovative, nonprofit initiative to provide residents and residency programs with high-quality educational materials and a structured program for self-learning in all areas of general surgery and related specialties. The content of the portal is aligned with the SCORE Curriculum Outline, a list of topics to be covered in a five-year general surgery residency. The portal houses a variety of content, including modules, videos, self-assessment questions, and book chapters. In 2016, SCORE asked Silverchair to help develop a plan to modernize the SCORE portal, which had been hosted on Silverchair’s platform since 2013.
Before any design work began, SCORE surveyed users and held user testing sessions to gain insight about how users navigated what was then the current version of the site, what they liked, and what they thought needed improvement.
The results of that user feedback and other business drivers helped to focus the update on three key areas: making the site responsive for mobile devices, improving the information architecture, and upgrading search.
We analyzed the existing site to identify the features that needed to be maintained and developed a plan to improve the organization and navigation.
Silverchair’s user experience team developed an open, clean, mobile-first design for the portal. Module pages, the core of the site, are easier to navigate and read on mobile devices, with greater emphasis on the primary content and less on the related features and progress tracking.
We also developed a style guide for the portal, bringing a cohesive visual dynamic to the site. The style guide also serves as a reference for the developers implementing the changes so that every single page did not require a fresh design.
The existing portal leaned on a browse experience for users to find relevant module content. As the site grew, it became clear search needed to be improved so users could effectively find desired content. The development team built a search prototype using Solr technology. Then we sat down with SCORE’s team to walk through the search capabilities and refine the approach. The outcome is a robust search that combines topical facets with content filters to both expose all available content and help users drill down to exactly what they want to find.
The new SCORE Portal made its debut shortly before 2017’s Surgical Education Week, where SCORE was able to introduce it to programs and users. The response has been overwhelmingly positive.
“We were very pleased with the new, mobile-friendly design, and felt that Silverchair took into account the specific needs of our users. The new site has been well received, and allows our users to quickly find the information they need.”
—Dr. Mark Malangoni, SCORE President