The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) is the oldest research institute in Australia. It has an affiliation with The Royal Melbourne Hospital that links research outcomes with clinical practice to accelerate discoveries for health and disease. WEHI needed a new digital strategy to improve how their users interacted with the institute online. It chose Bliss Media to conduct a needs analysis (including comprehensive user testing) and shape its digital presence for 2014 and beyond.

The process involved a series of meetings and workshops with key stakeholders (scientists, fundraisers, administrators and members of the general public), a detailed audit of existing systems, and a review of the existing content strategy.

Photo of Drew Berry, Biomedical Animator with the Walter+Eliza Hall, at his office 2010 in Melbourne. (Photo by Luis Enrique Ascui / Getty Images for the MacArthur Foundation)

Key Insights.


Donations comprise a substantial part of WEHI’s funding – however many end-users were not aware of this. Our solution was to raise the prominence of donation calls to action in the information architecture and to make clear links between the institute’s research and practical outcomes for the wider community.

Content Strategy.

WEHI’s end users have diverse informational needs – they include the general public, students, the medical community and potential donors (who tend to visit the site multiple times before making a contribution). Our solution was to implement a content strategy that allowed users to drill down for more detail according to their needs.

Stakeholder Needs.

Internally WEHI had to balance the needs of end-users with the extensive knowledge available from experts, academics and researchers. We helped guide WEHI stakeholders with a user-centred approach that puts their user's needs at the heart of our strategy.


We helped WEHI review their entire digital presence, identifying the needs of key audience groups and create online interactions based on their user needs. We also conducted a series of usability sessions, both on the existing environments and on our newly created interactive website wireframes. Our findings and recommendations were documented in a Digital Strategy piece and presented back to stakeholders.