“Good design is like a refrigerator—when it works, no one notices, but when it doesn’t, it sure stinks.” –Irene Au
Hospitals and health clinics are intentional about the colors they paint their waiting-room walls. Highly saturated colors, like vibrant yellows and reds, can make patients feel anxious. Richer shades of color on an accent wall can bring energy to a room, which is useful in rehabilitation centers and recovery rooms. Interviewed for Healthcare Design Magazine, Sherwin-Williams’ director of color marketing, Jackie Jordan, argues that healthcare facilities should strike a balance between both warm and cool colors since they “put people at ease” and “bring a sense of tranquility.”
What if healthcare organizations applied this same attention and concern to patient experience when making updates to their websites? Too often healthcare websites end up being a jumble of competing calls-to-action and overly complicated menu structures.
A well-thought-out and defined site map is especially key for a healthcare website since usability matters even more than trust. According to the “Pulse of Online Search” Survey, conducted by Makovsky Health Practice, consumers are motivated by the ease-of-use of online health resources over of how much they trust the resource. WebMD, the most popular and common online health resource, is visited by 53 percent of consumers even though consumers trust government agencies, like the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration, more.
This makes sense considering website visitors are often searching these sites during a time of distress. With so many varied worries and concerns, consumers will quickly bounce off of difficult-to-navigate websites.
If a healthcare organization is the primary provider in their region, their audience may have no other option, especially if they are trying to accomplish one of three typical tasks:
- Find a health provider and schedule an appointment
- Access their medical records to view test results or other health information
- Pay their bills
While healthcare communication managers may be pleased to see long average-session durations in their Google Analytics metrics, it could signify a poor user experience (UX), requiring the visitor to continue clicking around until they find what they need.
Remember the basics of good design and UX.
Whether we’re working with a hospital or a human-rights nonprofit, our website building philosophy at Wanna Pixel is focused on principles of enduring design, which include:
- Breathable margins
- Restful white space
- Legible typographical principles (such as best practices in line-height, hierarchy, and use of proper heading and copy fonts)
Professional use of imagery (as to the resolution, type of imagery, and cropping of imagery)
The most effective and enduring websites, like all designed communication, are built on these foundational design principles. Our sites are responsive and are tested for display on all major devices and at least two recent versions of all commonly used browsers (Safari, Opera, Chrome, IE, Edge, and Firefox). It’s important that healthcare websites, which typically contain multiple content-heavy sections, render beautifully, legibly, and intentionally on both desktop and mobile devices.
Below are some examples of healthcare websites that we especially like. Each of these websites boasts simplified menu structures with professional imagery and graphics. The navigation and search style make it easy for users to quickly find the information they’re looking for.
The next time your organization talks about repainting the walls or replacing old furniture, take a look at your website. It may also need a refresh.
Learn about the top 6 reasons nonprofits upgrade their sites and what you can do now to better optimize the images on your website. If you’re ready to make a change, check out our web solution services or drop us a line.
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