• Improve overall site architecture and navigation for more intuitive browsing and improved accessibility
  • Improve discoverability of content through topical landing pages for research areas
  • Reorganize and expand current blog and resources content for improved user journeys
  • Grow SEO foundations for future growth and leverage organic search traffic
  • Implement a fully responsive solution backed by WordPress CMS
Phase 1


PHRI has been collaborating on explorations in CVD, diabetes, kidney and lung diseases, brain health, cancer and other key research since 1999. Their website has housed an immense amount of important information, but it was increasingly difficult to find it.

This web design project was highly content-driven. We needed to create a new architecture that would improve accessibility to content, while creating more natural movement between related pages. At the same time, we wanted to create a stronger visual experience.

Home Page Design
Phase 2

Style Concepts

PHRI's palette relied heavily on a navy blue that can feel cold and clinical. We created a more welcoming look by adding softer blues and greys. But the most important element on the design side was to add a significant amount of fresh photography. Engaging images of the researchers and collaborators humanize the content and provide a warmer feel.

Style Tile
Phase 3

Bringing it all together

The new PHRI website is a smooth, straightforward user experience. Menus are simple and clear, and it's easier to browse research or search for specific topics using the new filtering options. In the first month after launch their site was already seeing an improved bounce rate, average session duration, and pages viewed per session. This shows that the new design is helping people understand and use the PHRI site – which will positively impact both their audience and SEO.

We procured the services of Forge and Smith for our new website (PHRI.ca), and their service was professional throughout the months-long project. F&S made every step as simple as possible with online tools to gather and migrate content, do fully transparent on-page editing, giving extensive video demos and screencasting. F&S project manager Oscar and his development team were unflagging in their efforts to get everything just right. The SEO part including redirects from our old site was seamlessly handled by F&S. As a result of all their efforts, PHRI.ca is attractive and easy to use, both on mobile and desktop.

Heather Beresh

Associate Program Manager