The American Epilepsy Society (AES or “the Society”) is a multi-disciplinary community dedicated to the clinical care and cure of the fourth most common brain disorder today: epileptic seizure disorder.
AES’ growth hinges on its ability to connect with underrepresented professionals across the range of different epilepsy specialties and non-specialties and turn them into happy members.
Problem was, a major roadblock was preventing the Society from executing this growth strategy: their website. In order to reach the right professionals, a new design and Content Management System (CMS) was needed to bring the website into alignment with this strategic plan and the prestige of their brand.
AES turned to Brightfind—the association industry’s go-to for digital optimization and web development—to spearhead the design and implementation of a modernized website on a CMS that would allow for personalized content, tight integrations, and a frictionless user experience.
Spoiler: Brightfind indeed came through, both on-time and within budget.
- Digital Strategy
- Design and User Experience
- CMS Development
Launching the digital vision
AES’ previous website and digital experience weren’t allowing them to reach and engage their target demographics in a meaningful way. It wasn’t personalized or user-friendly enough. Nor was it in step with current design trends.
The CMS that aesnet.org was using at the time had limited features that made page authoring, asset management, and continuous improvement a nightmare. Making things happen, or even simply checking daily tasks off the list, just took too long and was unnecessarily complicated.
And while the existing design was serviceable, it didn’t conform to modern user interface (UI), user experience (UX), or creative standards. The site’s ineffective UI/UX made it difficult to navigate. On top of that, the site was inundated with text-only content.
AES was also looking to implement a new Association Management System (AMS), Impexium, in conjunction with the website development project, requiring an elevated level of integration and implementation expertise for successful execution.
Making their digital vision a reality would require heavy lifting by a specialist with deep knowledge of the association space.
Selecting a strategic partner
AES engaged Brightfind to create a modern site design with best-in-class personalization and strong integrations for two main reasons:
- Brightfind’s portfolio of CMS implementations.
- Brightfind’s lifetime of experience working directly with associations and not-for-profit organizations.
Brightfind is intimately familiar with the common challenges that associations face, their solutions, and how to set their clients up for success based on their mission, strategic plan, internal challenges, external opportunities, and financial requirements.
Plus, Brightfind’s proven track record with CMS implementations and integrations could be used to increase the efficiency of staff, drive dues and non-dues revenue, and take the AES to new frontiers.
Tackling the redesign
Brightfind completely redesigned and rearchitected the website on the Sitefinity CMS platform to:
- Present dynamic, user-centric content and personalized design elements.
- Modernize and streamline the look, feel, and functionality.
- Elevate, align with, and showcase the prestigious AES brand and accomplishments.
- Create a consistent digital experience that converts visitors into members and members into loyal fans.
Unique to this project was that the site launch coincided with the launch of their new AMS, Impexium.
Concurrent development projects like these can cause scheduling issues and project delays, miscommunication, duplicate work, and vendor issues—if not adequately coordinated and executed.
Luckily though, Brightfind is a wizard in project management and system integration.
Through effective end-to-end project management, Brightfind was able to strategically plan deadlines, navigate the availability of staff and vendors, and keep the AMS project timeline and deliverables at top of mind.
Brightfind’s strategic project management and tech-savvy team allowed the entire content migration and system integration process to go off without a hitch. Both technology implementation and integration projects were executed without unexpected cost overruns or delays in the website time frame and target launch date.
In other words, Brightfind demonstrated the ability to work collaboratively with all of the vendors involved to make the project a success. The entire development project, from initial planning and user research to integration and execution, was delivered on-time and within budget.
The tight integration between the new Sitefinity CMS and Impexium’s AMS created a seamless experience for end users. This solution has positioned the Society to continuously improve their user experience by leveraging Sitefinity’s unparalleled personalization features in conjunction with Impexium’s detailed member data.
AES now has the organizational alignment and digital capabilities to reach their target audience and continuously scale their membership and mission.
Powering hope and healing
AES is all about advancing the prevention and treatment of chronic seizures through science and medicine. The vision is ultimately to eradicate the disorder altogether.
Day in and day out, the professional community promotes research, practice, and collaboration for specialists and service providers in hopes of improving the lives of people with epilepsy.
The clinical support and discovery made possible through AES' membership touch everyone with a professional interest in epilepsy—from physicians, scientists, and psychiatrists to engineers, pharmacists, and advocates. This Society’s impact is no small footprint.
In the past few months alone, the mission-centric organization has awarded $1.06 million in research grants and fellowships and received $1.5 million from the CDC.