Healthcare website design isn’t as straightforward as it might seem. Some might assume it’s all about using the right color scheme, but great healthcare websites have a bit more going than just a nice color palette.
What’s more, healthcare website design is now more important than ever, with more people resorting to the internet for health research. Here are a few statistics to demonstrate this point:
- In 2017, 95% of healthcare executives believed their organization’s website was the primary driver of new business for hospitals
- 52% of those looking for healthcare providers start their search online before any engagement with hospitals
More healthcare organizations and even private practitioners have their own websites than ever, but there’s still some way to go when it comes to the user experience they provide.
The average healthcare website you’ll see will be built using the same designers who make construction company websites. A compelling healthcare website design should incorporate the following elements at the minimum:
- Mobile responsive design
- Legible text / accessibility options
- ADA regulations compliant
Let’s go over some healthcare design strategies and trends that we think every healthcare executive should know about.
Mobile Responsive Design
Not having a mobile-responsive website in 2020 is inexcusable and can put your healthcare business in serious jeopardy. Most of your prospective patients will access your website through a smartphone, and it should be absolutely ready for that.
Unfortunately, not many in the healthcare industry take this matter seriously. Many hospital websites are not optimized for mobile viewing.
For doctors with a private practice, this is more important than ever if they’re trying to attract new patients online. Google favors websites that are mobile responsive, and actually penalizes ones that aren’t. What this means is doctors with unoptimized websites will not show up in the search results.
And let’s be realistic, some patients might have health complications that don’t allow them to view tiny text on a smartphone screen. An unoptimized site will therefore be very hard for them to view and use.
And since most of your website’s traffic will come from smartphones, you want to ensure the visitors get a great digital experience. If they can’t read the services you offer, then your website is useless and your promise of providing care for patients falls short here.
Text Legibility Is Paramount
A healthcare website simply cannot be hard to read. Every healthcare organization strives to make their patients’ lives easier and better, and having a website that makes it hard to read about healthcare information and services is borderline offensive.
Imagine a patient visiting your website in need, only for them to find that they can’t quite read the mentioned address or phone number. This could very well occur in an emergency as well, forcing them to look at competitors. A patient lost at this stage will be lost forever.
ADA issued a series of rules and regulations about website accessibility way back in 2010, but even in 2020 we can see that many healthcare websites aren’t compliant.
To be clear, ADA’s rules and regulations aren’t exactly a benchmark, but rather minimum standards for accessibility. They’re meant to make healthcare organizations focus on design in such a way that websites are easy to read and navigate.
So what exactly is ADA? ADA uses Web Content Accessibility Guidelines to determine whether a site is compliant. There are very specific guidelines for aspects of a website that affects user experience.
In 2018 there were nearly 508 standards instituted for website compliance, but how many healthcare organizations do you think are aware of these standards?
ADA regulations are basically meant to make a website:
- Easily perceivable
- Easily operable / navigable
- Reliable and robust
There are nearly 100 guidelines that healthcare companies and designers can look at, and these address specifics such as typography, font, colors, animation and video production (videos should be subtitled, for example).
Going into 2020, we foresee leading healthcare companies to become more aware of these guidelines as they’ve been developed with user experience in mind.
Here’s an example of a well-designed healthcare website. It uses light and pleasing colors, with highly legible fonts and an option to view the website in an alternative language. It follows many ADA guidelines and should be used by competent web designers as a baseline when designing any healthcare website.
The content on a healthcare website such as images and text are hugely important. Good content will help develop trust with visitors and increase chances of getting new patients through the website.
Dr. Katie Borchert from Prescott Naturopathic Doctors says that every doctor should have the following content on their website:
- Pictures of the doctor themselves
- Actual clinic (interior and exterior) pictures
- Pictures of the clinic’s doctors treating patients
She also stresses the need to mention all services along with pricing, if that’s possible. Testimonials, directions to the clinic and contact details should be mentioned clearly throughout the website.
Philip Philogene says that a doctor’s website should effectively be their resume for the patients who visit the website. There should be enough information to convey how experienced and successful the doctor has been, so prospective patients trust them more.
Having simple navigation that’s easy to understand is essential for any healthcare website. A user should be able to navigate from one part of the website to another without much hassle, that is without stumbling across the wrong pages too many times.
Group your web pages in a logical manner, in a way that users will be able to judge as well. There are many healthcare websites with complicated navigational structures.
Simplicity is key when it comes to navigation. There should be a clear path for visitors who want to access your treatments, for example. Group similar pages under one logical label to make it easier for visitors to understand.
Creating a healthcare website that offers a good user experience is a must in 2020. With the prevalence of tools and technologies like WordPress, Divi, Elementor and so on, there’s simply no excuse to create a bad website.