The American Board of Surgery’s SCORE® Portal

The American Board of Surgery is an independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1937 to provide board certification to individuals who have met a defined standard of education, training and knowledge in the field of surgery. Their SCORE® (Surgical Council on Resident Education) 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. The SCORE Portal has been hosted by Silverchair since 2013, with a significant upgrade and modernization in 2016.

User Research

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.

Information Architecture

We analyzed the existing site to identify the features that needed to be maintained and developed a plan to improve the organization and navigation.

SCORE information architecture

Design and Mobile Optimization

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.

score case study

Search

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.

SCORE portal search results page

Results

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

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