We’ve been reading a lot about “flat design” lately, a seemingly new approach to Web design that is making the Web pundits predict that “This is the future of Web design – the next big thing!” Is flat design really as new and revolutionary as the pundits claim? Or is it just a return to good design fundamentals?
A Visit with Dieter Rams, Circa 1970
Recently, I stumbled across an old article about German industrial designer Dieter Rams that brought the current buzz about “flat design” into perspective. Now, I know what you’re thinking – “There was no Internet in the 1970s. How is this dusty old article relevant to Web design today?” Let’s take a look.
Back in the ’70s, Rams was concerned with the visual state of the world around him which he called “an impenetrable confusion of forms, colors, and noises.” Aware that he was a contributor to that world, he asked himself, “Is my design good design?”
CentraCare Health is comprised of five hospitals, five long-term care facilities, and dozens of clinics in St. Cloud, MN. Like many organizations CentraCare Health is focused on building a brand that promotes the regional healthcare organization.
We recently worked with CentraCare Health to launch a new system-wide site. We pulled all of their individual hospital websites into one VitalSite installation, which allows them to easily maintain all their content (they used DreamWeaver before) and moves support from the I.T. team to the marketing team. We added new functionalty — CentraCare Health is most excited about its new eCommerce features, such as bill payment, Volusion gift shop and event registration functionality. And we wrote new content that focuses on the system benefits and educates consumers about the variety of treatment options offered at CentraCare Health.
If we had to name a client whose staff paid great attention to detail, the award would definitely go to CentraCare Health. We worked very closely with them from contract to launch, making sure they had all the information they needed to make the right decision. It was refreshing to hear them think through their options and collaboratively come up with the right next steps.
Not only is the website a work of art, it’s got some of the best content around. Congratulations to Candace, Kara, Paul and the entire CentraCare Health project team!
I recently returned from the 2013 SHSMD annual conference in Chicago. And let’s just say I am a new man. I have a new found pep in my step.
As a creative director interested in the current state of healthcare marketing, the SHSMD annual conference offered me a Cliffs Notes overview — packing a lot of learning and face-to-face interactions into a short span of time.
Thankfully, I returned from SHSMD13 with confidence that Geonetric is doing things right. Here are a few observations:
Apple’s much-debated mobile operating system refresh has been in our hands for a few days. While there has been a lot of commentary about the new interface, it’s come mostly from hardcore early adopter-types. I’ve been curious about how more casual users would take to the new changes, so I did a quick poll of iOS users around the office to get their thoughts and first impressions. Here’s what I heard:
Genesis HealthCare System in Zanesville, Ohio is doing something many healthcare systems across the country are doing – building a new medical center. And they wanted to keep the community informed with the building progress and involved in the project. So we helped them build an interactive virtual tour that does just that.
Does your organization have great quality data but no way to share it? Are you required by law to report quality information? Is your organization looking for ways to become transparent to your patients?
If you’ve worked with any of the awesome writers or strategists here at Geonetric, you’ve probably heard them advocating for the best user experience possible. Whether you’re looking at reshaping a single page of content, a complete information architecture overhaul or a new site design – be sure to keep the user central to your decision-making process.
User experience matters in so many ways, but more recently, Google has focused on the quality of a page in terms of search engine optimization (SEO). While it’s not really a brand new idea in the world of SEO, it’s worth revisiting.
Whenever I talk to an organization about their impending redesign, I like to ask why they’re redesigning. I expect to hear comments like: “Our organization created new priorities,” or “We’re focusing on digital communications in new ways.”
But that’s not usually the answer I receive. I typically hear comments like: “I’m completely embarrassed by what we have today. I don’t want put the URL in our marketing campaigns, because I don’t want people to see our site.”