Brand Consistency and Website Design Techniques for Healthcare Professionals
The healthcare sector is a need-driven industry. What do we mean by this? Well, patients come to see you because they have medical needs. It is not like shopping for a new outfit, just because you want one.
And, for a long time, this thinking dominated the sector. Many healthcare professionals did not spend too much time or effort in public outreach or advertising. Much business would come from referrals from other doctors or clients.
But, a paradigm shift is now taking place. The typical consumer has so much choice. This could be due to the internet opening up the world. Marketing is no longer a choice for healthcare professionals.
Marketing plays a more prominent role than just brand visibility. Patients search for information for many other reasons. Patients now consider their choices by looking up health professionals online.
As such, brand presence is taken as a sign of credibility.
When searching for the best healthcare services, you want to know that you are dealing with reputable professionals. One of the first places you go to for information is their website. Relevant content shows the healthcare practitioners are authorities in their area of expertise.
And, the site is a powerful communication tool. A staggering 80% of internet users will source healthcare-related information online. That means if your practice is not in the digital space, you could be losing out on a significant client base.
Our topic explores brand consistency and website design techniques for healthcare professionals. Let’s see what you need to get right in the next year.
Why Brand Consistency and Web Design Is Critical
Web design professionals, Glacial Multimedia, have an interesting way of looking at medical web design. They refer to it as the ‘new front door to your healthcare practice’.
As we stated, the website is the first place people will come to when looking for information. When they ‘walk through the door,’ they get to see what you have to offer.
Whatever you have on the site will significantly impact their perception. Yet, you should, within 50 milliseconds, impress the online visitor. If the user experience (UX) is positive, they will stay.
Other than an attractive design, the best medical web design loads fast, is intuitive, and easy to navigate. And that’s not all; the information you give must be relevant and adds value to the audience.
Brand Consistency for Healthcare Professionals
The one defining factor of the business world is the level of competition. And the healthcare sector is not exempt. Without differentiation, it is easy to get lost in the clutter.
That is where branding consistency has a significant role to play. It allows clients to identify your practice at a glance. Take the example of brands like Apple, Toyota, Mercedes, or even Coca-Cola. Seeing the logo is enough.
You don’t need to read the names to know them.
Creating brand consistency entails specific elements. These include both visual and non-visual factors like:
- Aligning brand messaging and your core values
- Maintaining the same tone when communicating
- Sticking to specific colour palettes in all the branding
- Creating branding standards for both online and offline applications
- Consistency in customer experience
Techniques of Developing Brand Consistency
Developing brand consistency is not an easy process. It can take years before your practice is easily recognisable. That is why there should be a strategic approach to it.
Companies that have managed to achieve brand consistency have appropriate policies in place. They will, for example, have branding guidelines that cover all communication.
Guidelines control things like:
- Logo usage and customisations. The design team cannot, for example, exceed a specific size or change the brand colours. The guidelines will also specify applicable variations.
- Font size and text.
- Grammar rules and tone of voice. What kind of personality should the brand have? A good idea is to create a persona that brings the practice to life. It could be warm, caring, professional, playful, and so on.
- Use of photos, icons, or imagery, amongst others.
Developing brand guidelines requires much attention. Let’s say your personae is playful or informal. But, the brand colours you choose are black, greys or white. That, right there, is a sign of inconsistency.
Playful colours are fun and lighten the mood. So, in this case, the best options would be orange, pink, purple, or yellow.
There should be no room for individual interpretation of branding elements. It could lead to confusion and mistrust amongst the audiences.
Maintaining Brand Consistency on a Website
The health website design must maintain the same consistency as offline. Let’s say your primary colours are red and white. Your building, vehicles, and marketing collateral have the same palettes.
But, on the website, the colour choice is blue and green. That would confuse anyone. It would look like it is a different brand altogether.
The design team must ensure the logo looks the same on every device. For instance, the distortion of the logo on mobile devices is not acceptable. The team must ensure adaptability on all operating systems, browsers, and devices.
Remember, brand consistency is not about visual elements only. It also applies to things like content development.
The marketing team needs to:
- Ensure consistency in content quality. It must be relevant, well researched, and add value.
- Create a content calendar to help with the scheduling of posts. Engaging audiences means they always know when to expect new content.
- Maintain authenticity in everything you put out.
Website Design Technique for Health Professionals
Choosing the right medical website design has multiple benefits. The first is that it creates a positive perception amongst audiences. The design should resonate, engage, and inform.
It is always a good idea to get the help of professional medical web development and design teams. They have the expertise to deliver to your niche. Let’s explore some techniques that work.
Pay Attention to Elements That Improve User Experience (UX)
When someone is looking for medical information, they want solutions. If they don’t find what they are looking for, they will move to another site. Focus on creating websites that have the end-user in mind. The site should:
- Have fast loading pages;
- Be easy to navigate;
- Accessible on different devices, operating systems, or browsers;
- Functional elements to help with booking appointments and physician information;
- Have a clear call to action button with the right cues. These include, book an appointment now, or contact us today. Place the CTAs on all the pages in visible areas;
- Patients should be able to view test results, bills, and other health information with ease; and
- Excellent customer support.
The website should achieve two critical things. The first is to help the user accomplish their goals for visiting the site. The second is to have a good UX.
Personalise the Patient Experience on the Site
True, the patient comes to the site because they look for information. But, the design elements should allow for a level of personalisation. It comes from having a deep understanding of the target audience.
Let’s say your practice handles highly stressful health conditions. Don’t focus on providing hard facts only.
There is an aspect of emotionality that must be present. Remember, you are talking to someone whose emotional state is in turmoil.
They need assurance, empathy, and sympathy. All this should come out in the content and tone you use when communicating. It helps bring out the human side of the practice. And the patients will appreciate the gesture.
Include systems that can ease communication between patients, caregivers, and health providers. Take the example of AI chatbots that can help with the conversational aspect of communicating.
The technologies are available 24/7. That means patients don’t have to wait for operating hours to answer questions or concerns. The bots are also fantastic for collecting data that professionals can quickly make decisions.
Preempt Patient Concerns or Queries
Top medical website designs incorporate specific elements to preempt customer queries. There are those questions that patients ask over and over again.
Take the example of whether the practice accepts insurance from specific underwriters. Displaying such information on the homepage or navigation gives patients quick information.
Having an FAQ page is also critical. Divide the topics into specific sections covering different topics. It makes it easier for the patient to find information that way.
Ensure Regulatory Compliance
The website must adhere to regulatory compliance. HIPAA compliance requires encryption, backups, authorisation levels, and data integrity. The rules govern everything around the protection of client privacy and health information.
ADA compliance focuses on ensuring accessibility to all people. That means considering groups with visual, hearing, cognitive, and movement impairments. There are guidelines on audio elements, font resizers, contrast toggle and text alternatives.
A site visitor can sue if the website is not accessible. In 2012, Netflix found itself in court for not providing closed captioning. In 2017, Nike got into trouble for not providing screen reading software.
The same applied to Amazon in 2018. Other industry giants who have come under fire include Fox news, Burger King and Domino Pizza.
Do not let your medical practice become a statistic by flouting compliance rules.
We cannot emphasise this enough. Work with a medical website designer. They know all the compliance issues surrounding healthcare websites.
Optimise Designs for Ease of Use
No one comes to a medical website for purposes of entertainment. What the online visitor needs is information around specific topics or solutions.
Your role is to ensure quick access to such. We have talked about factors that contribute to a pleasant UX. But, take it a notch higher with some simple steps.
The first would be a simple web design. Avoid too many frills and bells on the site. A good idea is to go for minimalist trends. Incorporate a lot of white spaces and easy-to-use fonts. Plenty of space allows the visitor to focus on specific information.
Include directional cues to pertinent information. Such include arrows and colour contrast. Think about them like signposts on the road. The cues enhance navigation, strengthen visual hierarchies, and increase page scannability.
Optimise the sites for mobile devices or small screens. Ensure the layout conforms to whatever screen the online visitor is using.
Include a patient portal in the design. It frees up the team from having to deal with every client interaction. The portal should, for instance, allow patients to edit or update their information. They can also check for personal information about their health.
Increase Engagement with Relevant Content and Strong Imagery
Maintain consistency with posting relevant content. Become a source of information on the latest happenings in the medical world. Take the opportunity to share expertise with informative pieces.
Actively look for link-building opportunities. It will help establish you as a healthcare authority. Further, you increase organic traffic to your site. The search engines release and provide you with good rankings.
Don’t forget to include plenty of testimonials. Patients want the assurance that they are dealing with an expert. So, Include plenty of testimonials as a sign of your expertise. Audiences look for such information when deciding on a Healthcare professional.
Content provides a fantastic tool to educate patients on good health practices. And, if the advice they get is good, you become their future reference point for information.
Use plenty of imagery to increase engagement. Human beings have a higher recall of images rather than text. Avoid the use of stock imagery if possible. Taking your photos allows showcasing the products or services you have in your practice.
The same applies to the use of videos. With advancements in technologies, such content should be straightforward without spending too much money.
We have looked at some techniques in brand consistency and website designs for healthcare practitioners.
Brand consistency helps differentiate your practice from the competitors. It also makes it easy for patients to identify your brands.
Apply the same consistency in a medical website design. Focus on providing a good user experience. Design the page website with the end-user in mind. The information you provide should be relevant and solve identified needs.
Do consider it an investment to your practice to engage the services of professional medical web designers. That is their niche, and so they have the knowledge and expertise to give you an excellent site.`