Top Tasks and the Paradox of Choice

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We all say we build our websites to help our users—patients and prospects, visitors, staff, communities and more—but do we really?

Top Tasks Help Users

What if focusing on top tasks, clear navigation and streamlined content actually increased our key measures and made our site visitors happy? Your next question might just be: Where do I sign up?

But then you wonder… How could it possibly be that when we first help our website users do what they came to do, they’ll show their love by sticking with us, following through with activities that also benefit our organization?

It seems counterintuitive, but it works. Requirements to fill out forms with lots of fields or pages—or “shouting” at visitors to do something we want before we let them complete their goal—only creates frustration. Such tactics actually interfere with building the positive relationships that create happy users who are inclined to make return visits.

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Hospital Websites: Where a Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words


Rutland Regional Homepage Banner

Imagery is an important part of your hospital’s marketing. It supports your branding. It tells your organizational story.

Consider your healthcare organization’s website. What story are you really telling? The cancer service line landing page displays a picture of a doctor consulting a patient in a treatment room. Does the doctor resemble any provider in your organization? How about the treatment room – is it an accurate representation of your facility? Visitors to your site take notice of these types of things.

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Good Design: Always the Next Big Trend

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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?”

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Twitter’s Possible Profile Redesign: What You Need to Know & Actions to Take Right Now

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Twitter gained popularity as a micro-blogging, minimalist social sharing platform focused on text-based content. The design changes they are experimenting with favor what we’ve been predicting all along: social media content is going to be increasingly visual. Twitter is trying to find a balance between keeping their current users happy while still making enough changes to attract and engage new users who are familiar with sites like Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest — which are all image-friendly.

Back in January, Twitter announced that it was “rolling out a refreshed twitter.com reflecting the look and feel of the iOS & Android apps.” The initial redesign included a white navigation bar across the top of the site showing the same options available on the mobile Twitter application. Twitter also adjusted the site layout on the Home, Connect and Discover sections to reflect the mobile design. The changes were relatively minor and made transitioning between mobile and desktop user interfaces a seamless experience.

In February, Twitter has been testing out a dramatically different profile design with a small group of users. It’s not certain if this profile redesign will roll out to all Twitter users or not — but it could. Even if the redesign doesn’t happen soon, it’s still important to be aware that anyone who is in this group of test accounts not only sees their profile with the redesign applied but all profiles on Twitter as well (including yours!). My personal profile (@nverhey) was one of those accounts and I’m able to check out the redesign and all of its features.

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Making the Call to Action a Priority on Responsive Healthcare Websites

Abington Health Mobile

On your website, how do you decide where to place your most important content? On a desktop it’s fairly easy because we know people use the “T” pattern to skim content. If you are like a lot of our clients, you use side panels and place them on your pages accordingly. But what happens to those panels on a responsive site?

If you haven’t given this much thought – now would be a good time to start. Panels on sites using responsive design can fall to the very bottom of the page when a mobile device is used. And this can lessen the effectiveness of your calls to action.

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Three Things You Should Do For Your Website Right Now

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Geonetric’s January webinar is meant to get healthcare marketers excited. Energized. Motivated. It’s all about ideas you can implement today that will improve your hospital’s online efforts. Better yet: they’re ideas that will make a big impact without requiring a big portion of your budget!

To give you a sample of the information that we’ll cover in the webinar, check out these three tips:

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5 Tips for Writing an Engaging Marketing eBook

5 Tips for Writing an eBook

“eBook,” you say. “Is that one of those new-fangled white papers?” Yeah, sort of. An eBook is a way to showcase your knowledge on a subject in an easy to digest format. They are more design-heavy than traditional white papers, and less copy heavy. But just because the word count might be less doesn’t mean they’re not just as useful.

We just finished up our first eBook here at Geonetric. And here’s some quick takeaways from the project that might help as you embark on your own eBook journey.

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Time to Spice Up the Ol’ Provider Directory?


Avera Doctor Profile Page

Keeping physicians happy, adhering to brand standards, and making a site user-friendly can sometimes be a balancing act. But Avera Health has accomplished all three items with its updated provider directory.

Geonetric worked with Avera Health take VitalSite’s already advanced provider profiles a step further. We gave the physician profiles a facelift adding in more interactive features such as videos and a dynamic blog feed that pulls in blog posts written by that specific doctor. The location information (including secondary locations) are clearly displayed to make it easy for visitors to find a provider in a certain area.

We also simplified the physician search results by changing the layout and indicating physicians that have a video. A print button was also added that allows users to print their search results.

Making a few changes can have a big effect! Feedback has been very positive, a win-win for users and providers!

Are you ready to dust off your provider directory and spice it up? Not sure where to start? Let us know – we’d love to help!

Keeping Online Forms Simple


Maternity Pre-Registration Form

Who actually likes to fill out a form? What if that form is five to eight pages long? Would you finish it?

Probably not.

Online forms are created to gather information from a site visitor. It can be anything from a contact us form to a pre-registration form. Getting this information should be easy and seamless. Unfortunately, a lot of hospital websites out there throw an eight page form at the potential patient. Many site visitors will not even get to the last page to submit the form and either end up calling, or worse yet, go somewhere else for the same service you provide. We don’t want this to happen to you!

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Dr. Mom Blog Engages Health Consumers

Do a little research and you’ll find a lot of reasons why your business should blog: acquire more customers, share your expertise and create a two-way conversation with your audience. When Dean, an integrated healthcare system in Madison, WI, was looking into ways to further engage its primary target audience, they turned to Geonetric to help them.

As we explored options, we could have taken a more traditional approach to this request. Instead, we found a unique solution that allowed Dean to put together a section of content that resembles a blog. Using a product called Disqus, we are able to add a commenting feature to any page the custom template is applied on. Dean wrote the content on these pages to resemble blog posts. Because the Disqus code has been added to a VitalSite template, Dean was also able to take advantage of VitalSite’s SmartPanels to cross-promote other meaningful content within these pages.

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Building a Brand as a Regional Healthcare Organization

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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!

3 Reasons the 2013 SHSMD Annual Conference Made Me Happy

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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:
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IOS 7 First Impressions

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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:

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Medical Center Virtual Tour Keeps Community Updated

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.
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