A collaboration of health professionals

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) is the world’s largest association of neurologists and neuroscience professionals, with 36,000 members. Founded in 1948 and based in Minneapolis, MN, the AAN strives to promotes the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care and enhance member career satisfaction.

A central objective of the AAN’s digital infrastructure is to provide their growing membership base true ease-of-use. Given the crucial role in their professional lives, many AAN members have tight time constraints. Fast ‘findability’ of assets is critical to a successful user journey.

“Our members are top-of-the-line in their field, and they expect highly of us as an association that serves them.’’

Carly Ferry, Senior Manager, Digital Content, American Academy of Neurology

An updated platform that doesn’t eat time

The AAN’s existing digital environment, while fit for purpose, was in need of a revamp. The Ektron solution provided a solid, practical workflow where teams were able to collaborate; however, it no longer served members to a level they were expecting. The association wanted to change the look and feel of the website and begin working on a personalization suite in order to create dynamic content for its members.

The AAN undertook a thorough market discovery exercise. After their research of multiple vendors, they appointed Optimizely as their new digital platform provider.

The objective was to refocus and redesign the AAN’s website to provide the best level of service for members.

Delivering experiences with ease

According to AAN Senior Manager, Digital Content, Carly Ferry, it wasn’t difficult convincing the wider team to move to Optimizely. The AAN saw in Optimizely a content management solution that would help the team manage and individualize content experiences in one screen. The solution offered personalization functionality so teams could personalize content according to personas, segments, or individual users. Visitor groups were a welcome venture for the AAN as they were able to dissect personas and differentiate content based on their career stage.

Actively changing expectations

‘’It was a huge leap. We have never done personalized features before. It’s a big component for our new website.‘’ Carly Ferry, Senior Manager, Digital Content, American Academy of Neurology

Transformation in action

In just three months the AAN transitioned its designs into Optimizely and migrated all its content ready for membership use. The association used the visitor group feature of Optimizely to help create weekly content on the site’s homepage. The new site is turnkey, usable on all devices, simple, and clear.

“For us, the website needs to be able to provide the best level of service to our members and help them find whatever tools they're looking for as simply as possible.'' Carly Ferry, Senior Manager, Digital Content, American Academy of Neurology.

The AAN set the benchmark internally to make sure it had been successful. Part of that was usability of service which was tested prior to and after the site transition. It received a lot of feedback from members. Most of this feedback was positive; if any was constructive, the AAN were able to take that feedback and make those changes.

The biggest indicator of success was the number of people who actually logged on to the website. Optimizely is engineered to handle high volumes of simultaneous logins. To be able to personalize content to its members, the association needed them to log in. If they were logged out, there was no way of telling who they were. The AAN set a goal to get 60% of its US neurologists to log in and ended up getting 80% of its US neurologists logged into the site in one year.

Its website traffic went up since the redesign, and now that the website is fully mobile responsive the association has also seen a 20% increase in mobile traffic.

Optimizely has spurred the AAN’s innovation. By using A/B testing from Optimizely and testing further personalization techniques, the AAN continues their digital maturity—well ahead of their industry counterparts.

Opting for Optimizely has heightened the standard for other AAN vendors in other areas of their work. The expectation is that they, too, will have excellent customer service, innovative features, and a trusted understanding of their membership base.