National Cancer Institute

Digital Transformation

We implemented a new content strategy and transformed the look and functionality of NCI’s site for enhanced access to research and information on cancer treatment.
  • Communications and Marketing

    • Content Strategy
    • Digital Analytics
  • Digital and Interactive

    • Digital Strategy
    • Interactive and Front-end Development
    • Responsive Design
    • Website Design and Development
  • User Experience and Consumer Insight

    • Information Architecture
    • User Experience Design

"Congratulations in launching the new version of! It is so much more user friendly and much easier to navigate. Things are much more logically organized and search results are better. I feel like has finally caught up with how other internet sites operate!"


Annie Flemming, NCI Cancer Information Services Supervisor

The authoritative source for cancer research and information

Imagine you’ve gotten a call that a close friend or family member has been diagnosed with cancer. Hearing this frightening news, you immediately want to begin searching for quick and informative answers about what this diagnosis means for your loved one. Where do you go? A simple Google search may not get you the most authoritative, research-based information about the disease.

As the federal government's principal agency for cancer research and training, the National Cancer Institute is the best source for research-backed information about cancer. To make their information more intuitive and accessible, NCI asked Sapient to help them begin a ground-breaking digital transformation that would provide authoritative, accurate information, delivered in a way that is easy to understand and navigate. 

Creating a streamlined digital platform for critical cancer information

NCI needed a flexible digital platform designed to meet fast-paced, continually evolving health and science communication needs. The content on their previous website was rooted in the organization’s print heritage, limiting options for digital engagement.

To answer this challenge, Sapient developed a three-tiered content strategy for NCI to evolve into a dynamic publishing platform. At the inception of the project, housed 24,000 pages of content. This depth of content required a coherent user experience that delivered across all channels seamlessly. Sapient’s approach provided the framework that defined the vision for NCI’s digital health communications overall and drove that vision to match audience needs.

Driven by Content Strategy, User Research, and Project Management

The new features an updated and cohesive brand identity that aligns NCI to its partner agencies within the National Institutes of Health. Leveraging Sapient’s team of graphic designers, content strategists, information architects, and developers, NCI sought a redefined experience that transformed its connection to its audiences through an enhanced digital strategy.

The goal was to provide easy access to NCI’s information in a seamless experience across desktop and mobile, further strengthening their brand as the voice of clarity and support in the fight against cancer. Using responsive design, the enhanced digital experience also addresses the increasing demand for access to cancer information from mobile devices.    

Modernizing a government agency through digital opportunities

A project of this scope and complexity required expert project management. Working in an agile environment, the team was able to make steady progress with the flexibility to implement course corrections as needed.

In the end, every single page of was touched and every URL was changed, redirected or updated to enable a transformed experience for those seeking information about the 100+ cancer types and subtypes on

Perhaps equally important is the very personal commitment the Sapient team has developed to the efforts at NCI and the connection to the mission of improving the lives of those in need.

A transformed experience for

Experience design was at the heart of the effort for This approach enables NCI to effectively maintain and evolve the site in keeping with audience needs, something NCI is able to assess via the foundational information architecture. 

The result? A site that is continually improving, connected to customer experience and recognized by the industry with Adobe’s 2015 “Creativity in the Public Sector” award for “Most Engaging Citizen-Facing Creative.”    

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