6 Elements Your Healthcare Website Design Needs to Have
October 7th 2020 | By Steve Grant
At a time when all eyes are on the healthcare industry, and demand for medical information is at an all-time high, it has never been more important for organisations operating in this sector to give some serious thought to the usefulness and effectiveness of their websites, and online presence overall. Here at Figment, we have a proven track record in healthcare website design. Our expertise lies in developing medical websites that are fully user-centric. It’s important to be aware of what users need, want and expect. Confidentiality, anonymity, ease of finding the information and resources they’re seeking, and a straightforward booking system being some of the key features, and there are more besides. So, let’s take a closer look at more of the essential elements that are involved specifically in healthcare website design.
1. An intuitive navigation
A clear navigation that is naturally ordered and therefore intuitive for the user will tick the box when it comes to ease of finding the information desired. No one wants to get lost trying to locate the vital details they need, and in a sensitive industry, it is less likely for users to hold up their hands and ask for directions.
Bespoke web design involves studying user journeys that are relevant to the industry, as well as the specific organisation and the services it offers. Without this step, there is every likelihood that your medical website navigation will not make a bit of sense to anyone other than the people who built it.
2. A simple yet effective search function
Healthcare websites are considered vital information hubs. Many visitors will be looking for advice and guidance, ahead of engaging with your organisation. If you can provide the information they need, in a clear, jargon-free format, then there is a greater likelihood that once their thirst for basic knowledge is satisfied, they will move on to contacting you to enquire about your services.
One key feature that will make it nice and straightforward to users to find the information they need, without a frustrating pursuit, is a simple yet effective search function. Simple to use, but advanced in its delivery of highly relevant results. There is nothing worse than searching a website for something you need to know right now, only to be met with an overly long list of results that bear little resemblance to your query.
Here are some search features that users of healthcare websites tend to find useful:
- A search filter – helps to refine results more closely to what the user wants to see
- Artificial intelligence (AI) – auto-populates suggestions as the user starts typing
- Search categories – group results so it’s easier to locate the specific information required
- Breadcrumbs – a trail that shows the user precisely where they are on their search journey
- Introductory content – as well as the title of the result, a short introduction to show the user what the result is about
- Highlighted search terms – the keywords used in the search query, highlighted to show relevancy
3. Mobile-friendly design
Google announced it would be switching to mobile-first indexing from September 2020. Websites designed primarily around the mobile version then adapted to larger desktop screens, rather than the other way around, will ensure the right user experience is delivered to the right screen. Why is this important? Because with mobile-first indexing, the mobile version of a website will be the starting point for what the search engine includes in its index, and the benchmark for how rankings will be determined.
According to Hitwise, almost 60 per cent of online searches in general are carried out on a mobile device. For the healthcare industry, this rises to 68 per cent. In the search results, Google prioritises websites that are mobile friendly over those that are not. So for medical website design, UK healthcare providers really do need to be thinking mobile-friendly if they are going to be competitive and enjoy the best possible online visibility.
4. Prominent reviews & testimonials
Research shows that over 90 per cent of people regularly read online reviews, and 84 per cent trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Reviews and testimonials really do matter, and they can prove a significant asset when it comes to influencing a purchase.
The big message here is to make your reviews and testimonials stand out. Don’t hide them on a sub-page. Patients want to know what others are saying. So showcase your reviews upfront. Include them on every page of your website. Include video testimonials on your home page. Feed your Trust Pilot reviews into your key landing pages. Highlight your Google Reviews score. Never hold back when highlighting how much you’re appreciated.
5. A long-form content strategy
The healthcare industry isn’t formed on sound bites. There is an abundance of information that needs to be shared, and you as a healthcare specialist have the expertise to feed it to those who need it.
Healthcare website design should always include a place for long-form content. It is highly valuable both for visitors, and for the search engines. Visitors are more likely to engage with an organisation that can demonstrate expertise, and search engines, quite simply, recognise that long-form content is the stuff of value. The important thing is how it’s presented and ordered.
When we re-designed the website for the Hull IVF Unit, it quickly became apparent that there was a huge amount of information and data to communicate. We were asked to find a solution to make everything digestible and easy to find. We came up with a way of logically categorising all the key information pages, so users found it an effortless task to navigate to where they needed to be. The client was pleased that the new site was informative, with coming across as overwhelming. Precisely what we were looking to achieve.
Structuring long-form content in a palatable way is crucial. If you’re writing a lengthy piece, here’s what not to do:
- Use industry jargon. Users will quickly disappear if they can’t understand what they’re reading.
- Use long sentences, and even longer paragraphs. They don’t do the eye, or the brain, any good at all.
- Run paragraph after paragraph without breaking up content with sub-headings and pull-quotes. Mass blocks of text can turn people off before they even start reading.
- Fail to spark interest with well-placed, relevant images throughout the content.
Well-structured content doesn’t just please readers. It’s also a major selling point for the search engines too, with dwell time increased, and bounce rate reduced, these are key ranking signals.
6. An easy- to-update backend management system
A fantastic looking, well-planned, user-centric medical website will work wonders for your healthcare brand. But it’s so important to think about what it can do for your workloads too.
For the Hull IVF Unit website, the WordPress backend we created with easily edible pages had the positive effect of easing workloads. In a statistics-heavy industry, it’s vital to be able to easily update a website, so always think outside of the front end.
When we designed the website for the British Fertility Society, as well as reinventing the members’ area to enhance member satisfaction, we also ensured the site was simple to update, with staff being able to easily post news, information and social updates, as well as create a regular e-newsletter.
Professional healthcare website design from Figment
Whether it’s a healthcare membership website, a health and fitness portal or an online home for a medical practice, here at Figment, when it comes to bespoke web design, our focus remains on the individual goals of our clients.
We fully understand that healthcare sector marketing demands regulatory knowledge, discretion, sensitivity and confidentiality. We have found our data protection protocols and compliance measures are robust enough to satisfy every healthcare provider we’ve had the pleasure to work with.
So, if you’re looking for professional, highly specialist healthcare website design, then why look any further than Figment? Please do get in touch to discuss your project. We look forward to learning how we can help you.