When you think of the word ‘elegant,’ what images come to mind? Do you picture something graceful and classic with simple, clean lines? How would those characteristics benefit your medical practice website?
In the world of web design, elegance means uncluttered and visually appealing. Elegant design makes your website powerful and effective without a lot of bells and whistles. The term can also apply to the coding used to power the elements of your website, enabling faster page loads and a higher degree of interaction. It allows your infrastructure to work smarter.
The Art of “Undesigned” Web Design
In order for a website to achieve elegance as we define it, it must be uncomplicated, conveying its message using a few well-chosen elements. A few examples of elegant websites designed by Solution21 can be found here. As you see, the overall look should feel unplanned, as if the aesthetic were a natural progression that was just meant to be. There’s a certain logic to it, and it follows three principles.
A coherent website is uniform inside and out. The color scheme is clean and concise, and it is carried out through all of your platforms. Choose one image that tells a story, and place it asymmetrically. Each similar element on every page should have the same placement, size, and functionality, and they should behave in the same way. If you could peak at the coding, it would follow a predictable stream of logic that flows easily and performs even complex tasks with more powerful, streamlined coding.
Keeping it simple doesn’t mean limiting functionality. It involves designing your website in such a way that it retains a high level of function using just a few elements. An easy, appealing aesthetic, powerful photos and a uniform, uncluttered interface are hallmarks of this approach. If a patient visits your website, they should be able to find what they’re looking for within 10 seconds of landing on that page. You also want your visitors to get what they need with just a click or two.
Every component of your website, inside and out, should provide maximum impact. Powerful design means getting the job done with more efficiency. Visitors should be able to view your page and know exactly what it’s about. They should also be able to perform multiple functions using fewer steps. In short, give your visitors back more than the effort they put in to get it.
Incorporating Elegant Design into Your Medical Website
User-friendly, clear design isn’t just good for your patients. It’s also good for your search engine ranking. Algorithms measure content by many metrics, but the big three are:
– User experience
– Quality of content
– Value-added features like video
Content and Quality
Everything on your website should have a purpose for being there. Content should be current, with a good balance of evergreen information and fresh content that’s updated regularly. It also needs to be well-organized and easy to navigate. Every page should have clear contact information that’s easy to locate.
Text is well-written and easy on the eyes. Most viewers will scan a page, so their eyes shouldn’t hit a solid wall of text. Break it up, using short paragraphs, plenty of white space and bullet points whenever possible. Other important elements include:
– Fast page loads
– Basic, functional contact forms
– Intuitive design that works across all of your platforms
– Supplementary resources and information
Your visual content should be suited to your practice. Cosmetic dentistry practices could use high-quality photography that focuses on the appeal of straight, white teeth. The same goes for other medical services with a high visual aesthetic like dermatologists and plastic surgeons. Pediatric or obstetric practices could focus on images of families and children, and a physical therapist might include a video about strength training.
A Few Words About Mobile Access
The majority of people searching for services are mobile. They may be dealing with a sick child or having a medical situation that needs prompt attention. In such cases, they may not have access to anything but their smart phone, and they need to find help fast. Your website should be optimized for local SEO, with clear contact information and a map pinpointing your location.
All of the features and functions that work on your website should look and perform just as well on a mobile device. Another helpful trend is to optimize your search for voice activation. Someone who has their hands full with an injured person or is unable to type will still be able to find the help they need. But, be aware that the words someone might type and what they’ll tell Google to find may be formatted very differently.
Technology can be complicated, but that doesn’t mean your website should be. Providing an efficient interface that provides a high degree of value and a superior user experience doesn’t just serve your patients better. It’s easier to maintain and promotes higher search engine rankings.