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With design and development technologies evolving quickly it’s hard to imagine that some of the companies still have the websites designed in late 90′s or early 2000′s and do not think of creating something new and attractive. For some time and rarely meeting such oldie websites online I had no idea that the whole industry could still be keeping to the old design and development formats that’s the medical centers and hospitals websites. There are hundreds of beautiful website showcases presented online but I have never seen any related to medical websites and so decided to give it a try.
I have browsed through all CSS galleries with zero results, made a search in Google for medical centers and even checked Google keyword suggestion tool for all the possible keywords people use to find hospitals and medical centers online… and it’s really desperate! Overall I have checked over 500 websites and just a few had a hint of modern design and the idea of the inspirational showcase post went into oblivion :)
Still, I think this article will be useful for any designer working on the medical project as I’m going to analyze the structure of the websites, the important home page elements, the menu and other design aspects.
At the end you will find a showcase of 24 non standard medical websites that can help you start with your own design as well as help medical centers to plan a scheme for a successful user-friendly medical website.
First of all let’s look into disadvantages of the old style designs for the medical center website:
I’m not sure if that’s really me who got used to modern creative websites, large spaces and easy access to information, but I think that the old-style websites are simply inconvenient to use. Let’s analyze what the key-points of successful medical website are and what elements I’d expect on the website home page as a regular user looking for some services or advice.
The relaxing light color scheme and some phrase in the header saying they can help no matter what. Small flash animation showing the photos of nurses, surgeons, doctors with convincing calming phrases would be perfect.
Search area is vital. That means easy access to the needed information.
I feel a bit scared and desperate and I want to know what others say. In other words I need someone to calm me down and tell that everything is gonna be okay.
Well that’s exactly the reason why I have finally come to the website of the medical center. I want to request an appointment and I’d be grateful if you could point me to the right direction right away. Comparing to other websites that’s the same calls to action, they should be big enough and obvious.
The phone number should be in big letters somewhere on top right area. If that’s an emergency I’ll definitely would like to make a call.
Quick links to women’s health, physical health, healthy living or to frequently requested patient and visitor information.
Big multilevel menu on top giving access to all the sections possible. This is probably one of the website types when the larger number of sub menus can’t hurt. It’s simple, if you know nothing about medicine or doctors you won’t be able to find anything on the medical website without these multiple helping links.
Link to forum, blog or some knowledge center. People are social creatures yet afraid of doctors and all of us would probably study all the possible literature and cases before visiting the doctors. Here’s when the forum with the doctor advice would be real handy.
Making this small analysis and comparing multiple old style and more up-to-date websites I have come to conclusion that this ancient websites suck not because I miss all the modern cool elements, big buttons or cute boxes, but mostly because there’s simply no place for the information that visitors were seeking for and expected to see.
Thus, building a website for a medical center or hospital keep in mind that space is really important. Think about people who would visit the website, about their behavior and psychology, talk to your friends, parents and grand parents as in this case that might be more helpful than your 10 years of website design experience.
Below is a collection of 24 medical websites that truly stand out from the crowd. They are both for website planning and design inspiration and I’d be happy to see a website created by you or your company in this list in the near future. Stay tuned and good luck!
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