Designing a Website for the Cutting Edge of Medicine

Many businesses and organizations casually throw around the word innovation these days, but few can back it up the way that the Jacobs Institute can. Their unique physical position—sandwiched between a university research facility and a practicing vascular surgery hospital—affords them special advantages in fulfilling their mission to accelerate the development of next-generation technologies in vascular medicine. Their i2R (“idea to reality”) center boasts state-of-the-art modeling technology used to test new medical devices as soon as they’re dreamed up, in order to get them ready for use in the specialized operating rooms just a few floors below. So when the Jacob’s Institute approached Block Club looking for a website that could capture the excitement, energy and innovative spirit of the work that they do, it was a designer’s dream come true.

The Jacobs Institute is located in the very heart of the stunning Gates Vascular Institute building, one of the crown jewels of the bustling Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. The beautiful futuristic architectural style of the building’s exterior carries throughout the institute’s floorplan, which is illuminated by a continuous band of colored lights, oscillating between all colors of the rainbow. After experiencing this immersive environment firsthand, we knew we had to try to recreate this for their web experience in some way. The result we ultimately arrived at is a bold and dynamic homepage design, saturated with animating color gradients and gorgeous full-screen photography of the impressive physical space.

As a branding agency, most of our work tends to stick to a given brand’s color palette religiously. However, in this case, we worked to incorporate an ever-changing dynamic color palette of bold and exciting colors all throughout the site, centered, of course, around the Jacobs Institute brand red and gray.

For a content-heavy and technical site such as this, aesthetics weren’t the only concern; we needed to make sure that information was presented in a clear and concise way, and that it could be found or navigated to quickly. In addition to streamlining and strategizing site content, we designed a mobile-style flyout navigation menu that nicely follows users throughout the site, and a system of parent and child pages that incorporates redundant sidebar sub navigation and breadcrumb trail navigation to make sure that users will always be able to navigate throughout the rich content on this site easily and intuitively. Throughout the interior pages, we employ a variety of lightboxes, accordion menus and other tricks to keep this wealth of information neat and orderly.

Visit to learn more about the institute and explore the web experience that Block Club created to help them tell their story.