If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to win a prestigious award for award-winning biotech website design, just read on. This year, Ladybugz was awarded the 2022 Web Marketing Association’s annual Standard of Excellence Award in the biotech website design category for our work on the Fulcrum Genomics website. This honor was especially gratifying because it was the second year in a row we received this award.
The WebAward Competition is the premier award recognition program for Website developers and the online marketing community. Independent expert judges from around the world review sites in 86 industries and consider each entrant’s strategy, creativity, innovation, implementation, functionality, technical execution, and impact.
What it Takes to be an Award-Winning Biotech Website Design Company
You may be asking, “So how and why did Ladybugz win this prestigious biotech website design award?” Our journey started several years ago when we decided to target this vertical based on our success with previous biotech clients.
Since then, our expertise and reputation have grown, allowing us to take biotech companies from early startups to multi-million dollar operations in niche markets such as drug discovery, therapeutics, genomics, and informatics. We love working in this vertical because of our clients’ contagious excitement, enthusiasm, and innovative spirit. They are also hungry for growth and bring a sense of purpose to creating a website that attracts investors, scientists, employees, and customers.
The Unique Challenges of Award-Winning Biotech Website Design
Biotech products are technologically advanced and highly complex, which brings a unique set of concerns and opportunities. Some of the challenges we see most frequently include:
Disclosure, competition and privacy
It is common for tools, processes, and capabilities to be proprietary, with the company wanting to keep important aspects of its work confidential. Still, the website must convey the primary elements of its work.
Distilling complex science-based products + services
Some of our clients initially want to provide highly detailed information about their products or processes. However, this may not serve the needs of website visitors, such as lay investors or human resources.
Vision and messaging for biotech audiences
Getting people excited about becoming involved with a bioscience company often requires simplifying technical language appropriately and finding a look that reflects its mission and personality.
Marketing strategy for biotechnology
Often, early-stage biotech companies lack marketing expertise. Sometimes we need to educate biotech companies about underlying digital marketing concepts and illustrate how these strategies have worked for our other biotech clients.
Science versus Digital Marketing
While marketing often calls for a “less is more” approach, this may not immediately make sense to expertly trained scientists enmeshed in complex, technical bioscience products and processes.
Real-Time Change for emerging technologies
Biotech companies must be highly flexible to meet the needs of a highly competitive landscape. This may require unexpected changes in messaging, audience priorities, and other factors needed to enter the next growth stage.
In approaching the Fulcrum Genomics website, we brought all these considerations to bear. One of our key ingredients in developing this successful biotech website was using an agile website design process.
Leading the Way in Agile Award-Winning Biotech Website Design
Robbie Moore, Ladybugz User Experience Creative Direction Lead, established our agile website design process for working with early biotech growth companies. With speed-of-innovation and time-to-market being a high priority for biotechs, marketing is usually not a priority. In particular, if they lack a marketing profession on staff to bring the team together, their ideas for the website may be disjointed and lack cohesion, which can cause friction.
Early on, Robbie realized that the linear process commonly used for web design was inefficient for most biotech companies. A big part of the problem was the lack of early involvement by key team members. Key staff were brought in when the website was nearing production. If they disliked the direction of the website, we would need to reverse course. This situation could cause confusion and frustration, sometimes bringing project to a crawl or a standstill. The added time and expense worsened an already difficult situation.
Our biotech experts discovered that shared knowledge and collaboration—the cornerstone of an agile process—get you to the finish line faster. We needed the client to include decision-makers in brainstorming, evaluation, and decision-making throughout the process—without waiting until the end for approval.
Early and continuous involvement sets the stage for transparency, collaboration, efficiency—and a satisfied client.
Bringing an Agile Website Design Process a Genomics Company
Fulcrum Genomics is a bioinformatics consulting company based in Phoenix, AZ. Their technology helps scientists process, measure, and observe massive amounts of data, delivering value that advances therapeutics and the understanding of human diseases.
In 2021, the company approached us about refreshing its website with a new, professional aesthetic. Through the agile discovery process, we came to a mutual understanding that the company’s primary goals were to highlight its knowledgeable team, company values, testimonials, and case studies. It was important for them to build a personal connection and show how much value their team delivers to customers.
It’s important to note that Fulcum’s willingness and ability to become true partners with us enabled the project to run smoothly, according to plan. According to Robbie, one thing that stood out about this project was how closely we were able to work with the client. In spearheading the design, he realized that the process was “amazingly collaborative and fast.”
One reason for the speed of producing the site was that the point person on the Fulcrum team was familiar with WordPress. We gave them early access to the backend of the website, while we moved ahead with design and functionality elements. We would come together at meetings to evaluate progress and make refinements as needed. This aligns with the agile process, where progress is iterative, rather than linear.
The result was an award-winning website that successfully conveyed the personality and excellence of their team in the following ways:
Connection to the bioinformatics audience
The site uses personal “we/you” language. This starts on the home page, with bold copy reading, “We speak biology,” followed by “Nice to Meet You” and the subheading, “Let’s bring bioinformaticians to your problem. This concept continues throughout the site. For example, the main heading on the “About” page reads, “You’re an Innovator. So Are We. See, we already have something in common.”
Modern overall look and brand presentation
We created a bold look, with a deep blue and colorful, irregularly striped accents that reflect genomic sequencing. The typeface is modern, yet classic. We chose a clean, minimalist look without a lot of bells and whistles, so the user could easily focus on the message and call to action.
Simplicity when it comes to website user experience
Navigation was simplified, with five menu items, Home, About, Approach, Projects, and Careers. The Approach section is brief and featured a slider with customer testimonials highlighting their excellence, team service, and collaboration.
Excitement around the products and services of science
The Projects section allowed the company to shine a light on its process and client success. We included colorful photos of people representing professionals in the field, with concise descriptions of how Fulcrum approaches each project.
According to Robbie, “Like every agile project we lead, collaboration was essential to the process.” All the right people were brought in early and kept involved throughout the process. We were all proud of the award-winning biotech website design results.