A clear structure, impressive images, responsive design: the emphasis of the relaunch of the MDC website is primarily user-friendliness. Starting Jan. 3, 2018, visitors can see the results online.
Science is both fascinating and beautiful. This is the message delivered by the new MDC website, launched right at the beginning of the new year 2018. It comes not only from the site's powerful images and graphic design, with a font easily readable on computer screens, but also the way users are led to the content they seek. That's the case whether the visitor is an expert, a young scientist looking for a job, or simply an interested member of the lay public. The web design adjusts itself automatically to the device through which it is being accessed, and the site structure remains clear even on Smartphones.
The MDC and its website revolve primarily around the more than 60 research groups currently working at the institute. "A particular challenge was the fact that basically, each laboratory has a website within the main website," says Silvio Schwartz, web content manager. "This means essentially that we had to achieve not only a major relaunch, but over 60 relaunches simultaneously."
"Careers" – a new theme within the site
A goal of the relaunch was to give the MDC a "face" – for example, by posting a portrait of the head of each working group. Current news and publications automatically appear alongside a description of the lab's focus and a list of team members. The new structure also permits users to track a research topic across diverse MDC groups who are working on the theme and to apply various filters to obtain more specific information. All of the contents can be called up both in German and English.
A new feature is the subtopic "careers", providing a complete overview of MDC positions: from the PhD programs and jobs for postdocs or clinicians to other open posts and opportunities for career development. For experts the site gives a clearer, deeper overview of the scientific structure of the institute. As well as a list of all MDC publications, the website draws on three additional databases to ensure that information is constantly kept up to date.
Everything should be instantly findable
Visitors seeking general information about the MDC, its strategic aims, its history or the way the institute deals with ethically relevant themes can find what they're looking for under the heading "MDC". This domain additionally provides a clear overview of how the MDC and its researchers are linked to other institutes in Berlin, the Helmholtz Association, and the world.
"A high priority for us has been making any piece of information instantly easy to find," says Annette Tuffs, Head of Communications at the MDC. "Our solution has been to create a website with a very flat hierarchy and at most three sublevels." This meant coming up with a design that would fit about 3000 individual pages, accomplished by the Berlin agency Studio Good and implemented by Werk 21. The site is based on the content management system Drupal 8, which permits a flexible adaptation to each user's device.
The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC)
The Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) was founded in Berlin in 1992. It is named for the German-American physicist Max Delbrück who was awarded the 1969 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. The MDC’s mission is to study molecular mechanisms in order to understand the origins of disease and thus be able to diagnose, prevent and fight it better and more effectively. In these efforts the MDC cooperates with the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) as well as with national partners such as the German Center for Cardiovascular Research and numerous international research institutions. More than 1,600 staff and guests from nearly 60 countries work at the MDC, just shy of 1,300 of them in scientific research. The MDC is financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (90 percent) and the State of Berlin (10 percent) and is a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres.
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