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Treat Your Patients Online: 5 Sick Healthcare Website Design Tips

Katie Levitt


Want to attract more new patients to your clinic? Start by taking the temperature of your current site. Is it easy to use? Is it mobile-friendly? Is it up-to-date? Those are the basics. (Dare we say, "standards of care?") After that it's all about how you make them feel. Emotion, after all, is as important in healthcare as science, technology and outcomes.

Follow these five "sick" healthcare website design tips to stand out even more.


Nothing takes the warmth out of a website more than impersonal stock photos. You know the ones—model-perfect nurses holding clipboards. Daytime TV-ish doctors in white coats greeting adoring patients. Not bad, but definitely not personal. Who wants to see a bunch of robots when they're sick? Invest in custom photography that shows your actual clinic and care team—from the doctors and nurses to technicians and office staff. If possible, include photos of actual patients and their families, too. Real, authentic images connect with people—and that makes a big difference to current and potential patients who visit your website.


You'd never treat all patients alike when they come to your clinic, so why treat them that way when they visit your website? Patient journey-mapping is an excellent way to diagnose what's wrong with your site usability now, so you can fix it later. Make a list of all the patient types you see now (like parents of young children, single young adults, seniors, student athletes, etc.)—as well as any others you'd like to attract (such as business professionals, blue-collar workers or college students). Then put yourself in their shoes. Write down each individual patient experience, from start to finish, both on your site and in your clinic. How can your website design improve to get them the information they need, faster?


If you compare websites from the top 10 hospitals in the United States, you'll notice a few similarities—most notably, traditional blue-and-white color palettes. Why so sterile? Consider warming things up with a bold, unexpected color palette. Color brings out emotions and feelings, which can be as important as science, technology and outcomes when it comes to branding your clinic. Selecting the right dominant color and accent colors adds personality to your website and helps your clinic stand out from the competition.


Website visitors don't like clutter. They like lots of whitespace. Think "simple" and "clean," and you'll be in the right wheelhouse. Complex designs with multiple columns put more elements within the field of vision, making for a jumbled experience. That being said, simple website content is a no-no. Your visitors won't be back without useful information—and your website needs SEO value from keyword-rich content like doctor profiles, treatment and technology sections, blog posts and patient experience pages. Go back to your patient journey maps, think "what can we add to help their experiences" and get to work. Simple design plus valuable content is the best prescription for an effectively designed healthcare website. 


It's been said that website designs are merely containers for content, and in a way that's true. Content is definitely king! But all that royal info can be easily dethroned (or worse, missed entirely) by a confusing site design. Avoid trendy website design styles and stick with tried-and-true site structures that organize your site into clear, digestible pieces of content. Use color, contrast, size and spacing to create a clear visual hierarchy, and you'll be rewarded with more intentional page visits and improved user engagement. 

Want even more "sick" ideas for healthcare website design? We happen to have an entire team of specialists ready to help get you started. 

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