Medical Neighborhoods & More

W|W strategically designed & developed the website for Heritage Valley Health System, a $480 million integrated delivery network providing comprehensive health care for residents of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler and Lawrence counties, in Pennsylvania; eastern Ohio; and the panhandle of West Virginia. Powered by BlokBlok CMS, the HVHS website was built on a Ruby on Rails + Javascript content management system and integrated the use of Responsive Design to optimize the user experience for desktop/laptop, mobile and iPad/tablet.


With the previous website being nearly 8 years old, containing over 700 static pages, and formerly managed & updated in Dreamweaver, the new Heritage Valley Health System website was designed with one end-user in mind: the patient. W|W’s strategic, user-centric approach was developed by using personas, user journeys and extensive competitive research to ensure that the website provided the right information to the right audience. Thorough user testing was also conducted to verify the website experience exceeded end-user expectations.

Heritage Valley Health System website before & after


By leveraging taxonomy and tagging, the Heritage Valley Health System website connects the meaningful relationships between its doctors and medical groups as well as its locations and services while simultaneously supporting the primary needs of the the health system’s target audiences. W|W analyzed available data to build a variety of online tools for patients, including the ability to search for a specific physician, confirm a particular procedure, or verify directions to one of its locations.

Heritage Valley Health System website 4
Heritage Valley Health System website on iPad


The Patient Activity Monitor, an API endpoint used on the previous Heritage Valley Health System website, was integrated with a new interface to display wait times at various locations within the health system. The Patient Activity Monitor was designed and programmed to use html5 localstorage to save the user’s preferences on their machine to avoid the server having to save anything. Specifically chosen to have a large presence on the site, this feature is engineered for users to effortlessly understand wait times at various locations.

Heritage Valley Health System patient activity monitor
Heritage Valley Health System website on mobile


To ensure usability on legacy browsers, W|W strategically chose Modernizr, a plugin that gracefully loads-in technologies. In addition to Modernizr, the web application environments are self-contained and managed by Puppet and Capistrano. The website’s applications delivers high quality icons throughout the site by utilizing SVG images that scale perfectly no matter the form factor.

The website was responsively designed to respond to a user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation by using a mix of flexible grids and layouts, images and an intelligent use of CSS media queries. While other web applications use a different navigation specifically for tablets, interactions for the Heritage Valley Health System website are written and coded to work elegantly with touch devices as well as a mouse.

Heritage Valley Health System mobile menu


The intuitive tagging system within the W|W CMS is a feature that allows for published news posts to automatically appear throughout the site’s “related news” sections. With this feature, cross-promotion of news stories at various locations across the site is supported while also allowing visitors to directly engage with the information without having to navigate to the news section itself.

Heritage Valley Health System website footer