Seeking healthcare can be super frustrating. In 2020, 71% of patients expressed having “major frustrations” with their healthcare providers. With this information, the healthcare industry needs to find ways to make the patient experience as convenient and painless as possible. Scheduling appointments, accessing test results, and looking for a specialist are all aided by a well-designed website. That’s why it’s important to understand what makes a good healthcare website before seeking out a healthcare web developer in Los Angeles.
How to Use Healthcare Websites
Whatever services they offer, a healthcare company’s website must streamline the user’s experience. During the COVID-19 pandemic, health departments shared information about community outbreaks, symptoms, testing services, and vaccine clinics. Many health departments used online portals to let patients report symptoms and sign up for COVID tests—a crucial step in slowing the spread of the virus.
Beyond the pandemic, these features let patients request, schedule, and view appointments with healthcare providers. And with telehealth offering remote consults and virtual visits, there’s almost no need for an office anymore.
Patient portals are increasingly popular in helping patients not only manage appointments, but access data like test results, vital sign history, and current and past prescriptions. Some portals even let patients chat with their healthcare provider.
In a world where information is expected to be available at our fingertips, hospitals, doctor’s offices, and health clinics miss a huge opportunity to empower their patients with the information they need to take control of their health if they skimp on providing web services.
Best Practices for a Great Healthcare Website
There’s a lot of information on the average healthcare website. Coupled with the jargon and reference data of medical professionals, UX/UI is crucial for a usable website. A skilled web developer can create a platform that is easy to navigate and uses simple, professional, and straightforward design.
Here are 7 best practices of user-focused web design in healthcare.
1. Simple Navigation and Clean Design
It’s tempting to pack your home page with content and features, but in healthcare content, less is more. A great web platform uses straightforward design and simple navigation.
A great healthcare web developer in Los Angeles will limit the number of links and ensure dropdown menus only highlight important topics for users. The search bar should be easy to find, ideally front and center in the homepage.
Lastly, all text needs to be easy to read. Use large fonts with high-contrast color.
2. Robust Search Options
Most of us just Google stuff these days. If we need information, we type the first word that comes to mind. For users to find your website, you’ll need to put yourself in their shoes.
Robust and simple search engine lets users get straight to the point when they search for something specific. A well-designed search bar makes a world of difference for patients and users who don’t have time to browse all the information of most healthcare websites.
In addition to a prominent search bar that’s easy to find on every page, your healthcare web developer should implement features that enhance the UX:
- Filters: Let users activate different filters to narrow and speed up their search. Introduce parameters that can give users an idea of the kind of information your website contains.
- Introductory text: Teasing relevant text from search results helps users know which results are relevant and which aren’t. This should extend past the title and feature a small excerpt from the final result.
- Highlighted keywords: Users should see their keywords highlighted in the results to make it easy to find answers
- Sort functions: Sorting features help users control how results are presented to them, cutting down on time spent scrolling through irrelevant fluff. These functions vary, but popular options include “most recent,” “price low-to-high,” or “highest reviewed.”
3. High Quality Photos & Videos
Even with simple design, photos and videos are important and engaging in online content. Your website’s visual content must be vibrant, high quality, and reflective of your target audience. Don’t take the easy route and use stock photos—going the extra mile to hire a quality photographer pays off, especially if users see themselves reflected in these images.
Consider incorporating a mix of videos which feature real-life people, like patients and providers, as well as educational videos that teach users about your services. Everyone has different learning styles. What one person might be able to absorb from written copy, another needs to hear spoken with accompanying animation or figures.
4. Accessibility & ADA Compliance
Your website must be user-friendly for all users, including those with disabilities. Accessibility should be a through-line during the entire website development process—not just an afterthought. Those who visit your website but can’t navigate it will undoubtedly have a negative experience. Don’t put your organization on the long list of companies that contribute to ableism.
Complying with ADA guidelines isn’t just about doing the right thing, either. You could face a lawsuit if you are caught operating a website outside of ADA standards. In 2017, over 800 lawsuits were filed against companies in violation of Title III of the ADA, which addresses website accessibility.
Learn from their mistakes. Hire an experienced web developer who will design your website with these guidelines in mind.
5. Build for Mobile
It’s no surprise that more and more people access the internet from their mobile device. As of 2018, 52% of web traffic took place on a phone instead of a computer. If you want to draw users to your site and give them a good experience, your website better be mobile-friendly.
Optimizing a healthcare website for mobile may seem challenging, but the right healthcare web developer in Los Angeles will put in the extra effort to design with mobile in mind. That pays dividends in the form of increased web engagement.
Note: Google de-prioritizes websites that are not mobile-friendly. Your website won’t appear anywhere near the top of search results unless it is optimized for mobile before launch.
6. Post Regular, Engaging Content
Yes, your website should do the basics for your patients—provide information about your institution, give them access to a patient portal, etc.—but if you want to drive traffic and establish yourself as a dependable resource, engaging, helpful content is a must.
Some examples of additional content your users may enjoy or find useful include:
- News updates about your organization’s activities
- Articles on health conditions
- Stories featuring patients and healthcare providers
- Information on health-oriented classes and workshops
- Health tips and guidance
7. Testimonials & Reviews
One way to establish credibility is to feature reviews and testimonials from patients, community partners, and healthcare professionals who can speak to your institution’s level of care. Whatever services you offer, seek out testimonials and build them into your website’s design.
If your institution has access to reviews (preferably the positive ones), feature them in a prominent place. Testimonials influence the decision to purchase services online, so help your users read what others have to say about your services.
Hire a Great Web Developer
As you can see, developing a useful and engaging healthcare website is no easy task. You need an experienced web developer who will follow best practices and optimize UX/UI. Doing so will empower your patients and users to take their health into their hands as they access all the information and services your institution has to offer.
Looking to hire a great healthcare web developer in Los Angeles?
Click here for a free consultation with one of our experts!