82 Porter Hill Rd., Ithaca NY 14850

Evolving Health Care at Cornell University

A new name, a new web site, a new building.


Originally I wanted to be an architect – a career that would have combined my love of art and my passion for precision and engineering. But that wasn’t the path I choose. Instead I became a computer programmer and user-interface designer. So while I can take no credit for Cornell Health’s new building, I was able to work with Cornell Health staff to design and develop their new web site and help introduce their new name, “Cornell Health” (formerly “Gannett Health Services”).

Home page wireframe

Cornell Health wanted a modern, attractive, inviting site that adhered to the best practices of accessibility. They wanted a responsive, mobile-first site in time to welcome the next incoming class of Cornell students and in time for the opening of the new facility.

Right from the beginning the project was off to a good start. Cornell Health staff had put a lot of thought into the new site’s information architecture and had created wireframe mockups of the site’s pages. They were engaged and excited about their new site.

With the project team, I designed a number of options based on the content wireframes and a series of color palettes to complement their print materials as well as the materials and fabrics used in the new building. Following an iterative design, review, and feedback process we created a final site design that was very close to the second one shown below, while a variation of the third design below wound up being used for a related project.

design prototypes
Final design prototypes and content prioritization

We also looked at content prioritization – how content should stack and wrap for mobile screens, and what content, if any, could be excluded on small screens to save space and minimize the need to scroll.

While Cornell Health staff focused on content authoring and editing, I themed, developed, and built the new site templates, required modules, and CSS using Cornell’s chosen content management system, Drupal 8.

The entire project team was awesome to work with, including the IT support staff, who established the site on Acquia’s hosting service, configured the GitHub repository for code syncing and project management, and helped with best practices for Drupal development and configuration. It was a pleasure to work with such a professional and talented group of people, and to see the completed site launch in time for the official opening of their new facility.


new home page
New Cornell Health home page (full size and mobile)


See the new site...