Case Studies



National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)


Redesign the NCATS website to reflect the Center’s evolution and innovation since its creation in December 2011 and its first website launch in April 2012. Revise primary navigation and content areas, organize content around the user, enable more marketing across program areas, and better align information with the translational spectrum.

Palladian Approach

Palladian migrated the NCATS website’s content management system (CMS) from Percussion to Drupal, an open source CMS framework that can be customized easily to fit an organization’s design, presentation, and technical needs. This change also set a foundation to build dynamic content into the website, which was not possible with the original, static site.

To reflect the rapidly changing digital landscape, we incorporated a responsive design that provides

  • improved search engine optimization (SEO);
  • easier content sharing across devices and platforms, including social apps; and
  • easier and more seamless access to the website on mobile devices.

We changed the website search engine to DigitalGov Search to improve functionality and usability of internal searches, help users find content more easily, and enable better analytics integration. We designed several flexible graphic templates that would allow available content to drive design and presentation decisions on a page-by-page basis.

In addition, we revamped the website’s information architecture to enable additional design flexibility, expanded future content, and enhanced website SEO and analytics capabilities.


By making these changes to the website, we

  • improved navigation and search functionality;
  • developed a more engaging and interactive user experience;
  • incorporated a responsive, content-driven design;
  • enhanced communication and engagement about translational science with a wide variety of stakeholders; and
  • expanded web governance to ensure timely content maintenance.

In addition, Drupal opens the door to future enhancements, such as integrating database-driven content into the NCATS website, which would enable users to search and browse NCATS projects and peer-reviewed publications online with ease.



  • Strategic Communication Planning
  • Strategic Content Development
  • Digital Content Development
  • Website Content and Multimedia Strategy

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