Murdoch Children’s Research Institute launches award-winning website

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) partnered with Butterfly to launch the digital component of its business strategy. Among their goals is improving the ability to find information, promoting brand recognition, retaining and attracting talent, and increasing funding.

project highlights

Project goals:
  • Explore and refine the User Experience (UX)
  • Develop initial wireframes and IA to guide the design
  • Generate a deeper understanding of the functional and technical requirements
  • Refine the Scope of Work, addressing the essential needs of the website platform

website link

the client

The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) is Australia’s largest health research institute focused on child and adolescent health. Renowned globally for its pioneering work in childhood medicine, MCRI is dedicated to discovering prevention methods and treatment options for various conditions affecting young people. The institute brings together an extensive network of researchers and support staff committed to making tangible impacts on child health on a global scale. Through its wide-ranging studies and clinical trials, MCRI addresses a broad spectrum of health areas, from genetic disorders to mental health issues, with the ultimate aim of improving the lives of children and families worldwide.

Example wireframes from the website planning phase of the project

the brief

MCRI is one of the most renowned medical research institutes in the world. Its work in childhood medicine has a significant impact on the lives of many globally. In its role as the country’s largest health research institute, MCRI brings together researchers and support staff who are dedicated to finding prevention and treatment methods for childhood conditions. Their website provides an avenue to promote the extensive work they undertake across a broad spectrum of health areas. 

Through this project, MCRI hopes to further demonstrate the impact of its business. In addition to improving the ability to find information, they are focused on strengthening the brand association, retaining and attracting talent, and increasing funding. 


the approach

Butterfly envisioned the future MCRI website to offer users and administrators a seamless navigation system; with simplified user paths, and an exceptional integrated online system for storing, adapting, conveying and sharing essential information and knowledge. Furthermore, it is important that the new website is able to grow with the needs of the future. As a result of the new partnership between Butterfly and MCRI, users can receive new digital experiences that are tailored, optimised, and continually improved. 


Butterfly held a number of workshops during the discovery of this project to explore:

  • Project goals and objectives 
  • The core problem and generate ideas and insights 
  • The product requirements in order to build the technical roadmap 
  • The best platforms and approaches 
  • Any high level issues or risks 


Butterfly conducted design research to evaluate MCRI’s current digital presence and integrations with other technologies. By combining human-centered design methods and research, we were able to understand the complexities of MCRI’s offerings and devise a strategy for bringing their various programs under one unified umbrella. 


We wanted to make sure that any recommendations for the development of a new website were aligned with MCRI’s five-year strategy to transform child health, which includes raising vital funds to continue the organisation’s mission and expansion. In this phase, Butterfly had two goals: to identify pain points and develop a problem statement. 

Multiple folds of the homepage design for MCRI on mobile

problem statement

‘How might we organise and update information in a way that people of all backgrounds can easily understand and contribute to the scope and impact of MCRI’s work’

Further research involved in-depth workshops with various internal stakeholder groups, ranging from marketing and business development to researchers and philanthropy, and individual interviews with internal and external stakeholders. Based on this information, we were able to determine a wide range of business and user needs, and highlight areas of focus for the design and development of the website. It also helped us identify areas of delight and surprise, allowing us to build on them.

Key learning were:

  • Difficulties with poor navigation and search functionality (including dead links)
  • Lack of clear communication of impact,
  • A difficulty with the level of language used

Additionally, this phase showed us that users enjoyed fact sheets about diseases and conditions that are a focus of MCRI’s work – which is currently shared through an affiliation with Raising Children’s Network. MCRI’s fact sheets highlight the breadth and depth of its work and demonstrate the hope MCRI can provide parents, as well as the role fundraising plays in supporting MCRI. It was necessary to find a way to celebrate these more and provide MCRI with the opportunity to share more information.

Following that, we proceeded to create wireframes, an Information Architecture, and a technical roadmap to present to MCRI – this is the foundation upon which the final product will be based.

As a result of this successful project, MCRI engaged Butterfly to design and develop the complete website, which is now underway.

MCRI mobile website

the outcome

There are a number of key outcomes from this piece of work:

  • When the information architecture and content of the website are structured and contextualised, it will be easier for visitors to find relevant pieces of information, whether browsing or performing a search.
  • Clearer user journey so potential donors, researchers, students, along with  the general public, can learn more about the work MCRI is doing and the impact it is having.
  • It will be easier for people to contribute to MCRI–whether they donate, partner, work or study with them
  • MCRI will be able to attract exceptional talent, and become changemakers in child health
MCRI tablet website