The Mater Hospital

The Mater Misericordiae University Hospital required a website which delivers first and foremost for their patients. The result opens a new digital era for this leading Irish hospital, supporting their mission and fundraising efforts.

To convey the core caring mission of the Mater we used a human centred design approach combined with strategic content production. It is both scalable and flexible, allowing the hospital to grow their web presence over time.

The Challenge

In order to succeed in this project we needed to understand the requirements and concerns of the Mater's key stakeholders, their patients, their families and carers. Then create solutions to help address key issues such as delivering useful information to a mainly older user base, assisting them in finding their way around the hospital campus, increasing online appointment bookings, and communicating the state of the art facilities and supports the Mater Hospital offers.

What I am most proud of with the final project is how it genuinely responds to our patients' needs. I feel the new site now gives our patients quick, easy access to practical, accessible information. But importantly for us, the website creates a sense of warmth, care and a reassurance that they are dealing with a world class healthcare facility

Siobhan Manning, Project Co-ordinator, The Mater Hospital


The Solution

Human centred design

Following an initial discovery/groundwork phase, we knew that the patient user base was a clear priority for the new site. We were challenged with designing a site that was attractive, and supported usability for users of all ages and abilities.

User Research

The following approaches were used to develop our personas, content strategy, and design.

  • Stakeholder Workshop - With Mater digital transformation team.
  • Patient & Staff Interviews – one to one interviews with patients, staff, and visitors.
  • Stakeholder Interviews – to identify key drivers for the website.
  • Online Survey – for demographic and high level behavioural insights
  • Personas – key personas which express the diverse nature of the Mater's user base.
  • Content Strategy Workshop- Produced formal Content Strategy and Tone of Voice document


We worked with the Mater's Imaging and A/V team to capture an entirely new set of photography for the website. Our brief was to capture the hospital in action in a candid, natural way. To help to communicate the culture of the Mater as positive, human and caring.


UX solutions

  • Typography – clean clear fonts for optimum legibility. Extra-large type sizes and generous line spacing for older demographics. Well considered typography hierarchy with consistency of applications and attention to detail.
  • Navigation – the mega nav is designed to meet the needs of the personas defined during insights. Breadcrumbs are included and clear titles signpost every page.
  • Colour Palette – Accessibility A/AA compliance on all colours.


Following the Content Strategy sign off we trained the editorial team in writing for the web and tone of voice. We then worked with the editorial team to make the content plain, clear, and easy to read for their audience. This is particularly challenging for medical scenarios.

Charity & Donations

The Mater Misericordiae University Hospital funds a large part of its work through charitable donations and fundraising via The Mater Foundation. By emphasising the hospital's caring ethos and commitment to Education & Training and Research & Innovation we have provided more reason for visitors to click the site wide Donate buttons.


Following a comprehensive traffic audit, we set up and configured an effective tracking solution using Google Tag Manager. We also implemented a robust website migration programme to ensure organic visibility wasn't compromised when moving to the new design.

The Mater Misericordiae University Hospital

The Mater Misericordiae University Hospital is a level 4 teaching hospital based in Dublin's north inner city. It is the third biggest in the state, handling more than 300,000 patients in a given year.

In addition to the local services for their catchment area, the Mater Hospital provides a range of frontline and specialist services on a regional and national level.

Their ambition is to be the safest hospital in Ireland, delivering the highest quality care, with the most patient centred, efficient processes.

Visit the Mater Misericordiae Hospital website