One of the projects I worked on during 2009 as part of the Burson-Marsteller team was for the Swiss National Science Foundation, when their flagship education website Gene ABC was re-launched. We at Burson-Marsteller have been responsible for the project for many years and before I joined the company, the team of editors and client representatives worked with an external web producer to make the original website one of the most successful educational resources on the subject of gene technology for kids between the ages of 12 and 16, in German, French and Italian.
When we developed the concept for the re-launch of the website, which took place during 2009, the key parameters for all of us were to ensure that the website remained highly visible at Google (maintaining the third place spot when searching for the word “gene“) and that the entertaining and highly useful nature of the website was retained. Where the previous website, developed in the late 1990s, had used simple animated graphics to provide a welcoming and fun environment for students, the new version features the original graphic elements translated into video format, with audio narration, to allow the large quantities of information to more easily be consumed by website visitors.
I developed the screen design as well as the technical and video concepts from the start of the re-launch project, worked with our technical partners !frappant to set up the website on a TYPO3 content management system, filmed the German language videos with actors, while working together with local film company roja-media to produce the final animated “lessons”. The website can now be maintained by the editors directly, allowing sections like Question of the Month to be updated directly.
The project is one of which I’m particularly proud, particularly given that the popularity of the website has been maintained amongst the wide range of existing “fans”, who have been using gene-abc.ch for many years as a learning tool. I was delighted to find out earlier this week that the website has received a ranking in the annual awards given by Anthrazit magazine here in Switzerland for the Best 200 Swiss Websites of the Year. This is the second time a website I have worked on has won such an award: the first being the newspaper website I worked on with my previous employer, which received the honour in 2004.
You can see more information (in German) about our digital and online projects on the Burson-Marsteller Crossmedia microsite.