As any designer who’s worked with clients in a healthcare related field knows, there are many nuances and intricacies involved. You don’t have as much creative freedom as you may when you’re dealing with a video game design firm, for example. There are lots of industry rules and regulations, precautions to be taken, and norms to be followed. However, that’s not to say that web design isn’t an important aspect of healthcare: it’s an extremely valuable tool for attracting, informing, and engaging patients.
Web Design Says a Lot to Patients
As a patient looking for a doctor, dentist, or some other specialist, what does the selection process look like? You probably ask your friends and family for references, then head online to learn more. If you stumble upon a website that looks like it’s straight out of the 1990s, you’re not going to be very impressed. On the other hand, if you find yourself scrolling through a sleek, immersive site that’s both informative and eye-catching, you’ll be more inclined to set up an appointment. All that is to say that web design is extremely important to patients. It’s up to you to make sure that your clients know this.
As you know, responsive web design is the new staple of web design. However, your clients may not know that. Explain responsive design and show them some case studies. For example, show them how this web page automatically adjusts, contracts, and expands based upon the device that you use or how the browser window size is manipulated. Next, show them some examples of unresponsive sites and how disorganized they can become.
Searchability is Key
Few websites have efficient or accurate search bars. In fact, lumping all industries together, it’s challenging to think of more than a handful that do a good job of making information discoverable once you’re on the site (maybe Amazon, Target, WebMD, and a few others). The trouble with this is that healthcare sites are almost always visited when users are looking for information. As a designer, you should be conscious of this, and work closely with your client to make information easy to find with a conspicuous search area. Here’s an example of WebMD’s on-site search engine to spark some ideas.
Make Testimonials a Priority
Patient testimonials are a big part of healthcare websites. After all, patients want to know that they can trust someone when that person will be attending to their physical needs and ailments. Without placing an emphasis on patient testimonials, healthcare providers are missing out on lots of potential leads. Work with your client to incorporate verbal snippets on the front page, in addition to an entire landing page with pictures, quotations, and feedback. These aren’t all healthcare websites, but the examples on this list show just how creative you can get with patient testimonials.
Be Cautious When it Comes to Industry Requirements
Many fields within the healthcare industry are required to follow certain protocol when it comes to things like safety information, legal disclaimers, rights to privacy, and other important issues. When thinking about responsive design, ensure that your client and your team are on the same page. The good news is that responsive design naturally allows important information to be front and center, regardless of the device or screen size that the visitor uses.
Big Multilevel Menus Not Necessarily Bad
While you’ve probably been trained to believe that large, multi level menus are bad, this is one exception to the rule. Lots of subdomains and sections underneath larger headings and menus work well on healthcare sites. They help users find what they’re looking for without getting frustrated.
Ultimately, web design is the same regardless of which industry your client is in. However, healthcare-related fields do require a nuanced approach, so use these tips to your advantage.