8 Medical Web Design Tips for Healthcare Professionals

author Murad Bushnaq on August 17, 2020

Walk into two or three different doctors' offices, and you'll notice that the interior decor isn't the same. A pediatrician's office may be plastered with brightly colored walls and have a built-in play area for toddlers, while a doctor who specializes in sports medicine may display framed photos of famous athletes. Offices are designed to appeal to the practice's population, and healthcare web design is no different.

Your website can say a lot about your practice. Whether you're an individual practitioner or a hospital, a beautiful medical website design can attract new patients and make a tremendous difference in your business and your reputation. That's why you should aim to make your online presence organized, informative, and representative of your practice.

Here at Morweb, we understand that not everyone has the professional expertise needed for advanced web development. That's why we aim to make beautiful web design easy for all types of causes, including those in the healthcare sector.

While we understand that some tips for website design are universal to all websites, there are quite a few best practices that specifically to healthcare organizations. In this article, we'll cover the following medical website design tips so you can connect with more potential patients:

  1. Ensure it's mobile-friendly.
  2. Make it interactive.
  3. Share valuable content.
  4. Make it easy to navigate.
  5. Include strong imagery.
  6. Identify your brand messaging.
  7. Improve load speed.
  8. Adhere to web accessibility guidelines.

As you get started, remember that no two medical practices are alike, and therefore, their medical web designs will differ in order to appeal to their target audiences. You may find that what others find success in doesn't quite work for you.

So long as you have a powerful content management system (CMS) like Morweb on your side, you'll find it easy to implement the tips we'll cover. Ready to learn more about effective medical website design? Let's get started.

All intuitive medical website designs prioritize mobile responsiveness to maximize usability.

Medical Website Design Tip #1: Ensure It’s Mobile-Friendly.

According to this statistics page from Quora Creative, 80% of all web visitors use mobile devices when searching the internet in 2019. Furthermore, nearly half of surveyed mobile users indicated that they often take their business to competitors after a bad mobile experience with a company's website. In other words, mobile-responsiveness is not something that healthcare professionals should overlook.

In short, a medical website design that's mobile-responsive will adjust to fit the device's screen size, whether it's a computer, tablet, or smartphone. This allows users to interact with content on their favorite devices without having to inconveniently pinch or scroll. Just imagine how frustrating it would be for someone who's sick and struggling to reach your team without mobile responsiveness.

By making your website mobile-friendly, not only will you create a positive user experience for mobile visitors, but you may even boost your visibility on popular search engines which will ultimately help you to get in front of more prospects. In 2015, Google rolled out an update indicating that it uses mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. Put simply, web pages that are interactive and easily readable on mobile devices tend to rank higher than those that aren't.

To connect with patients who access your website via mobile devices, implement these tips for a mobile-friendly medical website design:

  • Optimize your homepage. If you want to optimize your website for mobile, you'll need to think from a mobile perspective. Feature a long-scrolling homepage with quick bursts of information about your practice. This will keep your readers engaged as they learn more about the services you offer.
  • Feature a hamburger navigation menu. As readers tap through your medical website, you'll want to make sure they can easily access the content most relevant to them. A hamburger menu is a collapsed version of your navigation menu located in the top right corner of your site on mobile devices. This type of menu allows mobile users to see all menu items in a dropdown format.
  • Allow visitors to click and call. When a prospective patient decides to set up an appointment, they'll want to call in as soon as possible. Make it easy with a strategically-placed button in your navigation that allows them to instantly call your business from the mobile device that they're using. After all, mobile search accounts for 48% of calls to businesses.

Developing multiple versions of your website can be a pain. Simplify this process with a CMS that offers automatic mobile responsiveness. This way, your content will automatically adjust, saving time that can be better spent focusing on your practice and boosting patient satisfaction.

Healthcare Website Design Example: Wayne County Hospital

Wayne County Hospital makes its medical website design feel like the same business across all devices, while adjusting the functionality for the device. Thanks to the mobile responsive design, the content on their site automatically resizes based on the user’s screen size and provides all key information that users need so that it’s both readable and interactive. This way, anyone can learn about the hospital's services, events, and volunteer opportunities no matter what device they're using.

Wayne County Hospital puts mobile responsiveness at the forefront of their medical web design.

Make your website engaging by creating an interactive healthcare website design.

Medical Website Design Tip #2: Make It Interactive.

If you’re still in the early stages of development of your medical web design, "Why do I need an interactive healthcare website?" The answer is simple: even if you don't have one, your competition does.

In a world where your patients can schedule appointments from the comfort of their couches, it's crucial that you prioritize interactivity to match up to your competition. Otherwise, you may lose business to a competing hospital or healthcare specialist with a more respectable, engaging design. In fact, 75% of consumers admit to judging a business's credibility by its website design.

Keep in mind that all medical websites are designed with certain goals in mind, whether that goal is increasing inquiries or encouraging patients to schedule appointments. By making your healthcare web design interactive, you'll increase patient engagement and ultimately reach your conversion goals.

Let's walk through three key ways you can funnel visitors toward completing your desired goals:

  • Create interactive forms. Enable patients to fill out important medical information with online forms, whether it's dealing with health conditions or insurance details. Keep in mind that mobile users will be accessing these too, so ensure your CMS offers responsive forms.
  • Feature call-to-action buttons. Well-placed call-to-action buttons will let your patients take action the moment they decide to. Consider including interactive buttons for scheduling appointments, requesting referrals, or filling prescriptions for quick access and a seamless experience.
  • Offer a patient portal. Instead of having to contact your office's receptionist, allow patients to edit personal details within a patient portal. This will make changing contact information, updating medical insurance details, and monitoring their health (with data such as blood pressure and weight) a breeze.

When you use these interactive features in your medical website design, you're bound to improve the user experience, which will directly impact a variety of metrics, such as time spent on the page, bounce rate, and click-through rate.

Healthcare Website Design Example: Friends of Family Health Center

Friends of Family Health Center offers an extremely interactive healthcare website design. From the first glance at their homepage, you know about the type of care they offer and can see interactive videos that showcase their top-tier facility. Using helpful buttons, they encourage users to learn more about the services they specialize in as well as locate providers within the network near them. Plus, they offer a patient portal that empowers patients to take a more active role in managing their care.

An interactive medical web design like this one from Friends of Family Health Center improves visitor engagement.

With the value of content marketing, you'll want to provide valuable content in your medical website design.

Medical Website Design Tip #3: Share Valuable Content.

Providing content that's interesting and valuable to your patient base can take your medical web design to the next level. While this will encourage existing patients to regularly visit your website, it will also inspire first-time visitors to click through to other content on your website. If they find their medical needs match your expertise, they’re much more likely to schedule an appointment or reach out to learn more.

According to Neil Patel's marketing statistics page, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about three times as many leads. In other words, creating and sharing valuable content is a cost-effective opportunity for any practitioner looking to get ahead of the competition.

As you map out your medical website design, consider sharing valuable content such as the following:

  • Regular blog posts - It can be helpful to discuss topics that are relevant to your patient base, such as major advancements or news in your medical field. Pairing intriguing news with an injection of professional expertise can strengthen your brand and position you as an authoritative, knowledgeable professional.
  • A Q&A section - Consider featuring a Q&A page where you discuss common health-related questions that patients frequently ask you. This is a great opportunity to show off your expertise.
  • Patient reviews - Testimonials are a powerful resource and are therefore a great opportunity for improving your medical web design. Encourage your current patients to say a few words about their experience. Testimonials may be of special interest to potential patients with related problems, putting you at the top of their potential list of healthcare specialists.

As you spend time developing valuable content for your visitors, you'll continue to increase brand awareness, generate more leads, and grow customer retention. Blogging, Q&As, and reviews will serve as a solid foundation for your content marketing strategy, so starting there is your best option.

Healthcare Website Design Example: The Haven

The Haven has worked to enrich the lives of individuals on the path to recovery since 1969. Through their healthcare web design, they provide insightful descriptions of their programs and provide helpful details surrounding addictions treatment. They also share past success stories that vouch for their professionalism, encouraging others to entrust them with their journey.

Further, they use their blog to provide thought leadership on addiction recovery and to keep their patients and other visitors informed on any updates in their services. Through this powerful content, they connect with prospective patients who may otherwise turn to another healthcare professional for treatment.

A blog like this example from The Haven can be a helpful component to include in your medical web design.

Smooth navigation should be at the center of your medical website design strategy.

Medical Website Design Tip #4: Make It Easy to Navigate.

A major part of an intuitive medical web design is its navigation structure. If your visitors can't find their way around your website, they may grow frustrated and ultimately take their business elsewhere. As we mentioned earlier, someone who’s sick and looking for medical assistance doesn't have time to struggle with an unintuitive website.

According to a recent study, 94% of consumers indicate that easy navigation is the most important website feature, meaning navigation strongly influences the effectiveness of your medical website design. Maneuvering through content shouldn't be challenging, and if it is, you'll likely steer some individuals away.

When creating your website, keep these key navigation tools in mind to create the best possible healthcare web design:

  • A well-designed menu - The easier it is to find relevant information, the better the user experience will be for patients. Feature a well-designed menu that displays your most important pages and uses a hierarchical structure to indicate which pages take precedence. While each medical website will house different pages, common ones you'll want to include are your services page and your 'Contact Us' page. Just be sure to create clear titles that concisely indicate the content of the landing page.
  • Clear calls-to-action - A large part of moving a client from considering your services to walking into your office is providing clear direction within your content. Strategically place call-to-action buttons throughout your web pages, leading users directly to high-priority pages. These valuable pages may include your online booking system, your patient portal, or your donation form if your medical practice uses one.

Prioritizing a navigable medical web design increases the likelihood of booking appointments. In no time, you'll push more prospective patients down the conversion funnel.

Healthcare Website Design Example: Heritage Hospice

Heritage Hospice provides compassionate care for patients who experience life-limiting illnesses. Their website serves as a strong representation of their practice and allows visitors to easily locate the content that's most relevant to their needs.

In their medical web design, they prioritize smooth navigation by first featuring a well-structured static navigation bar. Across their website, you'll see they've strategically placed CTAs that guide users to important pages, starting with a 'Donate' button in their navigation menu and 'Learn More' buttons across their homepage.

Like this example from Heritage Hospice, include smooth navigation in your medical web design like Heritage Hospice

Compelling imagery will take your medical website design to the next level.

Medical Website Design Tip #5: Include Strong Imagery.

Imagery can take your medical website design from plain to engaging. Content with effective imagery consistently outperforms text-heavy pages in terms of views and shares. In fact, posts that include images produce 650% higher engagement than text-only posts. What this means is that any website with visual content will perform better than one without it.

In terms of medical website design, high-quality photos allow you to showcase the quality of products and services you provide, so prospective patients can determine if your offerings align with their needs. Remember to also share pictures of your doctors, so new patients know who they're booking an appointment with. Further, videos and photo slideshows add life to your website and add a human element to your healthcare web design that's likely to stick with prospects.

Let's walk through three key tips for making your visual content stand out to patients and other visitors:

  • Feature original images and videos. Stock images won't resonate with visitors, especially if they're recognizable and have been used dozens of times across multiple doctors' websites. Instead, use your medical web design as an opportunity to show off your practice. Feature high-quality images and videos of staff hard at work and your facility that will connect with patients.
  • Strategically place visual elements. While images and videos can connect with visitors, too many will distract readers from the core content. Not to mention, it will slow down your page speed, which we'll discuss more in-depth below. When you'd like to share multiple photos, consider using an image carousel. This will clean up your design and declutter your pages.
  • Enrich your educational content. If you've chosen a blog as part of your medical web design, images can make your content much more engaging and informative. After all, visual learners make up 65% of the population. When possible, feature original graphics, but at the very least, receive permission for sharing other medical professionals’ diagrams and illustrations. In any case, you'll want to steer clear of sharing any graphic photos on patient-facing pages or any patient photos without written permission.

Remember, all of the traffic you receive won't do much good if you fail to deliver visually-engaging content that resonates with site visitors. As part of your medical website design, ensure your images are up-to-par, serve your overall goals, and convert visitors into patients.

Healthcare Website Design Example: Hospice of Hope

Hospice of Hope puts captivating imagery at the forefront of its design strategy. The moment a user lands on this homepage, they understand exactly what type of patients this organization serves, leaving no room for misinterpretation. Throughout this healthcare website, they feature original photos paired with impactful text to resonate with visitors and connect with the right audience. Through these visual strategies, they're able to effectively convey their authenticity as well as the level of care they provide to those facing terminal illnesses.

Hospice of Hope accounts for the importance of strong imagery in their healthcare website design.

Ensure your medical web design accurately conveys your organization's brand.

Medical Website Design Tip #6: Identify Your Brand Messaging.

When selecting a healthcare provider, patients have numerous options, so don't leave any room for interpretation in terms of your practice. Your medical web design must clearly convey your services and define what differentiates your practice from competitors.

Start by making it immediately apparent what kind of healthcare provider you are, what services you provide, and what patients you treat. The people visiting your medical website are often busy, which means they may not have time to search too in-depth or may give up quickly if the information they need isn’t immediately available.

Then, you'll need to take it a step further. Think of it as a way to tell your story and convey what you stand for. Let's walk through a few key elements for accomplishing clear brand messaging in your medical web design:

  • Color scheme - Consistency is key. Make sure to use the same color scheme across all your web pages. In particular, you'll want to choose two to three colors that will connect with your target audience. For instance, doctors who serve a diverse population should stick with warm, neutral colors. On the other hand, doctors who work with children may opt to use more playful (yet still readable) colors. We’ll explore the concept of high-contrast text below.
  • Font - Similar to the color scheme, you'll want to remain consistent in your choice of fonts. Keep it limited to one or two. Otherwise, someone may click through to a new page on your website and believe they somehow ended up on an untrustworthy third-party website. Further, your fonts should connect with your audience. For instance, if you work with a senior population or patients with disabilities, complicated designs with numerous fonts and thin lettering can be difficult to read.
  • Images - Remember, your images are an important element in medical web design. As such, you'll want to choose ones that actively convey who you are and the services you provide. For instance, you’ll often notice that websites include their logos in a corner of the navigation so that it appears across every page on their website.As you begin selecting images, refer to the tips we covered above. Remember, you’ll want to take original photos and use them in conjunction with high-impact text.

Being straightforward about your practice will help you clearly define your brand and position you as a respectable, trustworthy option for patients. When incorporated effectively into your healthcare web design, these branded elements will tie together to accurately communicate what your practice stands for and who it serves.

Healthcare Website Design Example: United Medical Centers

At United Medical Centers, their medical web design exemplifies effective brand messaging, and through impactful content, they're able to effectively convey their commitment to providing affordable healthcare services to a range of patients. Starting on their homepage, they detail every type of patient they serve, programs they offer, and the medical services they provide, from family medicine to dental practice. As you explore their website, you’ll also notice a high level of consistency among various elements, including colors, fonts, and image use.

Due to the level of depth provided by their medical web design, patients can rest assured they're inquiring with the right medical provider for their specific needs. Overall, strong branding will be much more likely to resonate with patients and reinforce their confidence in pursuing them as their next healthcare provider.

United Medical Centers includes strong branding in their healthcare web design.

A quick low speed will contribute greatly to your healthcare web design.

Medical Website Design Tip #7: Improve Load Speed.

Another major component of medical website design is load speed. In fact, a 1-second delay can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. Unfortunately for the healthcare sector, they're among the top 3 industries that have the slowest load speeds and therefore the most room for improvement, according to a study conducted by Google.

In the early days of the internet, everyone had slow websites. However, today is a different story. Users expect your content to load quickly. In fact, 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.

To quicken your load time, let's explore a few options that can be easily incorporated into your medical website design:

  • Limit and compress images. Luckily, it's easy to identify the major culprit of slow pages: large image files. Simply compressing images can save you up to 1MB of load time. While it may be tempting to upload tons of high-resolution images, refrain from doing so. As we discussed earlier, it's best to place visuals strategically instead of overloading your pages. For those images that you do include, make sure to resize them appropriately for your page then compress them to reduce the file size using free online tools such as tinypng.com or compressjpeg.com.
  • Reduce the number of redirects. Redirects can be useful when cleaning up your website, but if you're not careful, your page speed can be heavily impacted. This is because each time a page redirects to another page, visitors must wait for the HTTP request-response cycle to complete. The best solution is to check any redirects and simplify them as much as possible so the browser doesn't have to work through several pages to get to the newest content.
  • Minify the code. Accomplish this by cleaning up extra spaces, commas, and other unnecessary characters in addition to any code comments, formatting, and unused code. This will decrease the number of elements that need to load on the page. While this may seem like a small change, it will directly impact your page speed as the elements add up.

When mapping out your medical website design, measure with Google's free page speed insight tool. Diagnose any potential loading issues and adjust your web pages to minimize load time. By taking these extra steps to improve load speed, you'll convey to patients that you care about their experience and will set high expectations from the start.

Healthcare Website Design Example: West Coast Endodontics and Sedation Centre

West Coast Endodontics and Sedation Centre works to treat every patient with individualized care and to keep patients fully informed on their dental health. When developing their site, they opted to feature a minimalist healthcare website design without sacrificing quality. They offer a few captivating photos that tell their story and limit the text to only the essentials while still being informative and persuasive. Further, they've limited the number of pages on their website to display everything a prospective patient would like to know without providing extra, unnecessary information that clutters up the pages.

West Coast Endodontics ensures their medical website design is centered around quick load speed.

Adhering to accessibility guidelines will ensure your medical website design is accessible by everyone, regardless of impairments.

Medical Website Design Tip #8: Adhere to Web Accessibility Guidelines.

An accessible medical website design is pertinent to getting in front of more potential patients, especially if you serve individuals with disabilities. While many of these guidelines require the help of a professional medical web developer, there are a few steps your healthcare organization can take toward better accessibility on its own.

Start with CMS that offers a web accessibility widget like Morweb. Tools like this allow your medical website's visitors to adjust the text size, change the font type to non-serif, highlight links, and change the web pages to greyscale. These options enable people with disabilities to customize their user experience and will also help you meet several important WCAG 2.1 guidelines like 1.4.4 Resize text, 2.4.9 Link Purpose, and 2.1 Keyboard Accessible.

Let's dive into a few of the key requirements set forth by accessibility guidelines:

  • High-contrast colors. WCAG 2.1 guidelines require a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for all text and graphics. For context, black text on a white background has the highest contrast at 1:1. Keep in mind that the reverse (i.e. black text on a white background) is actually difficult to read and has the worst contrast at 21:1.
  • Large text. Text that's larger and has wider character strokes is easier to read at a lower contrast. Therefore, the contrast requirement for larger text is lower. WCAG 2.1 guidelines call for large-scale text and images to have a contrast ratio of at least 3:1. The guidelines define large text as text that is 18pt and larger, or 14pt and larger if it's bold.
  • Alternative-text for links and images. Alternative-text (or alt-text for short) is a word or phrase added to the HTML code of a website under images, graphics, and other non-text elements. For images, alt-text should describe its purpose and appearance. For links, it should describe the content of the landing page. This helps visually-impaired visitors who are using screen reader technology to better understand your page's content. Plus, alt-text is another one of Google's ranking signals and tells the search engine what your page is about.

Not only will implementing these tips allow individuals with hearing and visual impairments to interact with your content, but it will also enhance your medical website's overall design. Taking these steps as you go will prevent you from having to conduct a complete accessibility overhaul in the future, so do everything you can upfront to optimize your medical website.

Healthcare Website Design Example: Good Shepherd Community Care

The Good Shepherd Community Care medical website design exemplifies the characteristics of good accessibility. When taking a look at this healthcare website, you'll notice they make use of high-contrast colors and large text to make content easy to view. They also add descriptive alt-text to help those with screen reader technology understand what the images are about and what purpose they serve.

They take it one step further and implement Morweb's web accessibility widget, allowing those with impairments to take control of their own user experience and adjust the content to suit their needs.

Accessibility is at the forefront of Good Shepard Community Care's medical web design.

The Gist

Whether you’re a single doctor, an employee at a small medical practice, or part of a large medical group, your healthcare web design should be as unique as your practice. By first investing in a sector-specific CMS like Morweb, you'll be well equipped to create an engaging design that captures the essence of your work and helps you connect with prospective patients.

Remember to double-check that all your content is entirely responsive, accessible, and compelling. Aim to make it representative of your work and values, and in no time, you'll create a beautiful medical website that's sure to garner attention from patients.

Now, you'll have a headstart on optimizing your medical website design with valuable content that engages both current and potential patients, but keep in mind that improving your healthcare website is an ongoing process with many moving parts. To continue exploring the elements of effective healthcare website design, we've compiled a list of resources you may find helpful to expand your knowledge:

Since 2014, we've helped hospitals grow their web presence, so we're confident in our ability to capture patients' attention. As a leader in medical website design, our CMS works for anyone from an individual physician to a large medical hospital.

With ample experience, we know what works for healthcare providers and understand the needs of your patients. Start a free trial of our CMS to see how we can simplify the medical design process and improve your web development experience.

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