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The Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI)

Case Study

The brainchild of The Terry Fox Foundation – The Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI) is dedicated to performing and supporting cancer research that will enable discoveries to translate into practical solutions for cancer patients worldwide.

The institute invests in and manages translational research projects across Canada and functions as the research arm of The Terry Fox Foundation, managing and overseeing its discovery and training portfolios. Headquartered in Vancouver, the Institute has research nodes across the country.

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The Challenge

The Terry Fox Research Institute had designed and developed its website on the Sitefinity platform several years ago, however, the build did not make use of the robust, intuitive, and interactive modules that the software has to offer.

The Institute was looking for a sophisticated, sleek, clean, and modern new website that highlighted TFRI’s role at the forefront of cancer research through producing some of the most cutting-edge and effective projects in Canada.

With a strong brand positioning in place, TFRI was also looking to refresh and simplify their current logo to be more in line with the Terry Fox Foundation. While a separate organization from the foundation, the Institute needed a logo that was more in keeping with the overall Terry Fox brand.

The Engagement

Having worked with The Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI) to make their previous website mobile responsive, we were well prepared to help build a new website on their existing platform.

We worked closely with the organization to understand the needs of their various stakeholders to update its brand and ensure the user-experience of the new website was strategic and seamless.

For the website, Cubicle Fugitive completed an intense analysis of the current site content and, based on our findings, determined the best modules and structure to feature their cutting-edge research. Our objective was to keep the user engaged as they move deeper into the site.

As the primary destination for people looking for more information on cancer research in Canada, the website needed to provide an intuitive user experience that ensured primary users were able to quickly find information about funding possibilities and upcoming grants, as well as what research dollars had already accomplished in the community both from a patient and scientific perspective.

TFRI was looking for a partner that could design and develop a new logo and website in the same manner in which they conduct their research—with a team-oriented and milestone-based approach. And, this is exactly what we did.

The Strategy

Our process started with a discovery of TFRI’s key stakeholders and an audit of The Terry Fox Research Foundation’s brand. Inspired by the clean, modern, and timeless logo of the Foundation, we sought to improve upon it by focusing not just on the legacy of Terry Fox but the future of what he created.

The institute had a very old and complicated logo that did not replicate well in small sizes. The icon had included an image of a child passing the baton to Terry Fox, a Canadian flag, and a world all layered on top of each other. Drawing inspiration and brand characteristics from the Terry Fox Research brand, we refreshed the logo to include an illustration of Terry passing a baton to a young runner symbolizing Terry’s legacy living on through the next generation.

With the Institute’s website, we wanted to immediately showcase how the funds raised from the Terry Fox run have made an impact on improving cancer research outcomes for the benefit of cancer patients everywhere. We employed a sliding split screen banner that showed Terry on one side and the real-world research that is being done in his name on the other.

As a primary source of cancer research in Canada, the website had to be useful and relevant for the greater research community, partners, funders and donors, TFF community, patients and educators alike. We ensured that the home page incorporated quick jump-off points to “the best of TFRI’s research projects”, funding programs, patient stories, updates, and links to The Terry Fox Foundation, the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centers, how to donate, and more information about the types of cancer they are studying.

TFRI wanted help to better organize and categorize their key content (news, media/press releases, newsletters, patient stories, updates, and newsletters) so that information could be easily searched and sorted by the user and updated and interlinked by the administrator. We worked with the communications and technology teams to determine the best architecture and functionality to meet their constituents' needs. We created custom modules to ensure research and impact stories could be easily sorted by cancer type, cancer topic, location, and funding program.

The website committee determined that additional cancer information, including the types of cancer the institute researches, was critical. These details are beneficial to those who are impacted and relates to their research strategy. The design team created a grid pattern with icons to represent each cancer type including engaging images with a transparent colour overlay for visual interest.

We worked with an exceptional team at The Terry Fox Research Institute to reimagine and design an entirely new online experience, one that puts the user at the forefront of every decision and highlights the amazing work this valuable organization funds and promotes.

The Results

The result is a visually stunning and intuitive new website that utilizes custom-built modules and advanced filtering capabilities. The website was developed and designed to create a seamless user experience. The clean design in conjunction with the simple yet appealing blue and white colour scheme ensures readability, while the functionality of the site was designed to ensure that users can get to the information they need in as few clicks as possible.

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