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Trademark “Wakes Up” the Texas Nurse Anesthetists Association Website

Posted by Andrew Buckon August 31, 2015

Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat: It’s pronounced “A-nes – The – Tist.”

When the Texas Association of Nurse Anesthetists (TxANA) hired TradeMark to redesign and relaunch their website, we had difficulty saying the name correctly. A-nes. The. Tist.

But we eventually got it right. We like to think we got the rest of the project right, too.

The Challenge

Nurses were the first professionals to administer anesthesia––way back in the 1880s. Unfortunately, the original TxANA website appeared to have been designed at roughly the same time.

Visually, it was harsh and lacked personality, which lent the site a very “transactional” feeling––rather than an engaging and thoughtful one. There’s no law saying that professional associations like TxANA must be aesthetically dull or lifeless. And yet––due to time constraints, budget constraints, vendor constraints––so many are.

And then there was the logo, which was outdated and didn’t distinguish TxANA as a unique and modern organization. It would need to be re-imagined.

Functionally, the old site was just scraping by. First of all, there wasn’t much functionality to speak of; and what tools did exist weren’t being fully utilized.

For example, the site was integrated with TxANA’s membership management software––enabling members to (in theory) log in, connect on message boards, register for events, etc.––but owing to an outdated and technically lackluster integration, it wasn’t doing all it could. TxANA’s members found themselves unable to perform the tasks they wanted to.

Finally, TxANA wanted a website that had all the bells and whistles that, here in late 2015, are no longer bells and whistles, but rather standard features: mobile-responsiveness, social media integration, SEO-friendly, etc.

The Solution

TradeMark media partnered with TxANA to plan, design, develop, launch, and support a new home on the Web. We provided front-to-end services to re-imagine and build TxANA’s digital presence––including strategy, information architecture, logo and visual design, development, and ongoing support and training.

Let’s talk about the logo for a moment.

Logos, as most everyone knows, matter only if they’re (a) really wonderful or (b) really awful. There’s a wide sea of bland, forgettable logos swimming between those two poles. TxANA’s old logo looked like this:

Take away the text and this logo could be for almost any association, club, agency, or Ultimate Frisbee league in the entire state of Texas. There is nothing about it unique to TxANA or the good work they do.

Our visual design team, led in this case by Marty Merida, tackled the logo re-design question by attempting to balance TxANA’s two primary missions: supporting anesthetists and advocating for them in the Texas Legislature. Marty also aimed to balance a fresh, modern, stylish approach with TxANA’s rather serious and important work. In other words, the new logo would need to be attractive but not sexy, eye-catching but not frivolous.

We think Marty nailed it:

A quick explanation from Marty himself about the logo:

“The new TxANA Logo was designed to bring strength and unity to the brand, updating the style to better fit the times and celebrating the unity of nurse anesthetists from both student and legislative sides. This is represented in the color, shapes, typeface and symbol in the identifying mark.”

As with any successful Web redesign, the proof is in the pudding––and we encourage you to go check out the site. But a few things to think about when perusing it:

  • The new website is built upon a modern, open-source content management system (CMS). This means updating the website is a quick and straightforward task.
  • The new site, built with clean and robust code, takes full advantage of third-party platforms’ functionality. The experience for TxANA’s members is seamless.
  • It’s mobile-responsive. Go ahead, shrink your desktop browser window as small as it’ll go––that’s what the mobile version looks like.
  • The structure of the site––i.e., the architecture––is a direct reflection of our inquiry into the needs of TxANA’s various audiences. It allows members, prospective members, the media, and lobbyists/legislators to find critical information easily.

If we listed the dozens and dozens of subtle user experience (UX) enhancements, we’d be here all day. (And this case study is already too long.) In the end, we were honored to collaborate with TxANA’s leadership to bring them roaring into 2015 with a thoroughly improved website. If it helps this critical segment of our healthcare community perform their jobs better and with more support, then we’re thrilled to have been a part of the experience.

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