By: Jane Londeree
Senior Web Designer
Tips when Designing & Planning a Healthcare Website
Here at E-dreamz, we pride ourselves in specializing in a variety of medical, automotive and eCommerce websites. Today I'd like to talk about what to account for when designing and planning for a medical or healthcare website specifically. Medical websites usually have a lot of different components due to the practices having many physicians, locations, and resources so it's key to make sure your website elements and hierarchy are in place to ensure a user can find what they are looking for when visiting your website.
Provide Resources for Education and FAQs
Try to think of your website as an informational and educational hub for potential patients, doctors and others doing research on your practice and industry. Providing a tab or section specifically for frequently asked questions and educational resources will help ensure that almost everything can be answered or found online. As a bonus, having this information available online will help with marketing your content through search engine optimization.
Bold and obvious Call-to-actions
The last problem you want a user to encounter on a medical website is the inability to find out where or how to schedule an appointment, pay a medical bill, contact the practice or edit any account information online. Making your call-to-actions bold and obvious will help avoid confusion and allow the more crucial parts of the website to stand out. Consider having the more important call-to-actions stay at the top in the header as the user scrolls or repeating the CTAs in the footer so they can access them from this portion of the website too. Whatever design choices you end up making, be sure to make the important call-to-actions stand out across the site including mobile and tablet sizes.
Clear Navigation & Footer
It’s important when designing for a medical website to plan out a clear and easy-to-follow navigation structure and footer so your users can find what they are looking for and switch navigation links easily. Start with your top categories and compress down into what is most crucial or seems most intuitive. Consider adding extra links or buttons for important call-to-actions and other crucial parts of the website like "schedule an appointment" or "contact us" in the header and footer areas to ensure these parts can be found easily.
Consider implementing a grid layout for pages with a lot of medical resources, doctors or locations. Grid layouts are an easy and visually effective way to organize a lot of dynamic information on a page all at once. We’ve used a grid layout to display information and thumbnails on CNSA’s locations page and their providers' page which provides clear avenues to find the location or provider a user is looking for while keeping the page organized well. Another great benefit of using a grid layout is that they tend to do really well sizing down on smaller screen sizes and mobile.
Most great websites also have high-quality photography to support a clean and user-friendly layout. When designing for a healthcare website the need for good photography is no different than any other website type. You’ll want to plan ahead to get photography of each location, physician headshots and a variety of lifestyle photography for header and main marketing panel images. Using photography to break-up content and space is a visually-pleasing way to organize a site with a lot of information and help important sections of the website stand out. Check out our website for the Charlotte dentistry Pearl which has nice photography throughout the entire user experience providing a high-end and sophisticated way to represent their practice.
Sometimes medical photography can be hard to come by for privacy reasons or just because it’s just simply difficult to take photographs of medical procedures. One way to combat this challenge visually is to incorporate iconography into your website for different specialties or sub-specialties. Remember when designing icons to use the same stroke and illustration style since consistency is key to remaining professional online.
You want your company or organization to come across as professional and polished online and one way to do this is to make sure your user-experience is clean well thought out from the beginning. Try to avoid things that may make your website seem cluttered and unprofessional like bad photography, inconsistent fonts or unclear messaging. Be sure to include proper white spacing between elements, great photography, a well-planned mobile experience and easy-to-find important elements to make sure your website is top-notch and professional looking.
Don't forget about Search
Many users have become accustomed to searching on a website instead of clicking through a navigation structure to find what they are looking for. Medical websites are no different in this fashion than a large website like an eCommerce store since healthcare sites tend to have a lot of content and information. Be sure to include a search for the users who prefer to navigate your website this way for their convenience and don't forget to include a search on mobile too.