The Web Marketing Association names a Best Medical web site with judging based on design, copywriting, ease of use, use of technology, interactivity, content, and innovation. Here are the key factors that make for effective medical website design.
Intuitive and Clean Design
A clean and intuitive design is foundational of any effective medical web site. Writers are taught early on to not allow their love for their own words to get in the way of telling a good story. The same is true for an appealing and therefore effective web site. Graphics and dynamic elements such as Flash are most effective and appealing when used sparingly. There are several factors to remember in ensuring an intuitive and clean design for you plastic surgery web site.
- Structure – Text and page elements should present information simply and logically making your site immediately accessible to the first time visitor. Always place the most important information near the top of the screen or as they say in the newspaper business, “above the fold”. Provide visitors with easy ways to find information deeper into an article or page using anchored texts or links near the top of the page.
- Readability – While you want to present yourself as the expert you are, your readers should not be put off by too much technical language. The number one rule in good web content is making every page scanable. Bullets, lists, highlighted words and callouts (text boxes) are perfect for web copy.
- Consistency – There should be a consistent design throughout the site. If you have a blog it should carry the same feel as your main web site. The key to medical website design is an attractive site that has the feeling of reliability and credibility. Inconsistent layout interrupts a visitor’s focus and appears unprofessional.
- Navigation – One of the first hallmarks of good web design is site navigation that is simple to understand and use. Broken links or navigation links that land a visitor somewhere other than indicated are an invitation to leave you site for another easier to navigate site.
The second most likely reason for a new visitor to leave your site is because it just takes too long to use. One of the main reasons for using professional medical website design specialists is their ability to maintain a site that works with consistency and efficiency. Sites can quickly become bloated with poorly sized images, snippets of orphaned code that need to be optimized and a host of other small problems that add up to a site that loads too slowly. You should also study how you visitors are connecting to your site. Everyone does not have high speed Internet and that needs to be taken into account in your design.
Remember that visitors generally come to your site because they are seeking specific information about their medical needs and you practice. Content, photos, graphics, titles and headings should be consistent on each page. To ensure you stay focused ask the following questions about each page of your site:
- Does the headline reflect a good summary of the page’s content?
- Do the photos and graphics on this page point visitors to the subject of your content?
- Do your photos have linked captions? Are they engaging?
- Are the headlines compelling enough to capture the reader’s attention?