Challenge: The SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak in Canada was one of the most significant infectious disease events in our contemporary Canadian history. The Institute of Infection and Immunity is responsible for the collection, assessment, crisis management and dissemination of information that needed to inform the public about this frightening contagion.  The core problem was that the official Canadian Government website design guidelines and dated legacy information management systems were not making it easy for communications to be effectively delivered.  This was a significant challenge for two main reasons; the internet was just forming and there were not that many out of the box solutions for mass online communications at that time – everything was custom built.  There was also a lack of design standards and most government website design was outsourced.   

Solutions: I manually performed an information delivery efficiency audit that gave me the opportunity to remap the institutes online information and delivery process.  We also conducted usability surveys as a part of success managing and a prof-of-concept for our project deliverables.   

Results: I was able to effectively double the information delivery efficiency rate working in an environment responsible for information about potential repeat epidemic. My multimedia background also made it possible for me to help with some of the communications designs.

Skills Needed: Website information systems and data architecture assessment and efficiency analysis, usability testing.

Location(s): London, Ontario, Canada.
Budget Range: 25-30K
Date / Duration: 2003 – 2005
Team: Morgan Rauscher
Partners: CIHR – Institute of Infection and Immunity