It’s About Time

How the U-M IHPI Timeline Website went Really Big and Really Small

Health services research has a long and esteemed history at the University of Michigan. Beginning in 1850 with the founding of the U-M Medical School and continuing today, the accomplishments and breakthroughs from the university and its partners have improved the lives of generations.

The University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation (IHPI) worked with WTW Design to establish an online timeline of more than 90 health services research milestones made up of text, imagery and links. In addition to creating an appealing site design and engaging interface, WTW had to make the site responsive and able to be maintained post-project by IHPI staff members. The site was designed with a vertical interface over a backdrop image of the Ann Arbor campus skyline. Milestones dynamically appear along the central axis as the user  scrolls. The sidebar main menu lets the user jump to one of four eras in the timeline, as well as a separate pediatrics timeline. A rich footer has a variety of additional resources and links to learn more about Health Services Research history and other related topics.

Halfway through the website project, IHPI requested a second timeline.

The new timeline was planned as a 70 foot long, display in a ground floor corridor in Building 10 of the U-M North Campus Research Complex (NCRC). As a primary connector between two wings of the U-M North Campus Research Complex (NCRC) the timeline exhibit would be a daily experience for hundreds of faculty, staff, and visitors. IHPI relied on WTW to create a design to suit the space, while echoing the online timeline site already in progress. WTW coordinated its design effort with NCRC building managers for fire safety, wayfinding, and accessibility considerations. The team also worked closely with the U-M Sign Shop during production and installation. The team even accommodated the late addition of a door alcove in the middle of the timeline, planning a branding section that would eventually move to the end, saving the expense of reprinting and reinstalling half of the exhibit.

Shortly before the installation of the “timeline wall” as it was later named, IHPI requested a third timeline.

To commemorate a visit from their first National Advisory Board (NAB) meeting, IHPI commissioned a “handheld timeline” that could be distributed to board members. WTW developed an abridged, accordion fold, two-sided replica of the timeline wall. WTW coordinated all aspects of design, edits and printing, ensuring that the timelines were ready and waiting for the NAB visitors as they toured the recently completed timeline wall.

After a successful NAB visit, the team returned its attention to completing the timeline website. It was launched prior to the IHPI annual member forum in November 2015.

Visit Timeline Website    |    Download IHPI Handheld Timeline