Making the Move to a Responsive, Mobile-Friendly Healthcare Website

pella-regional-health-center-responsive-website-design

With the number of mobile-connected devices projected to exceed the world’s population by the end of 2014, it’s more important than ever to have a Web presence that can accommodate mobile users. And since 31% of cell phone owners, and 52% of smartphone owners, have used their phone to look up health or medical information, healthcare organizations need to make their online experience seamless regardless of what type of mobile device is trying to access their information.

Pella Regional Health Center wanted to ensure visitors had access to their entire site, not just a select subset. Enter responsive design. It enables organizations to build and maintain one site that adapts automatically to the capabilities of the device being used. Essentially future-proofing an organization’s website since it presents the best user experience possible whether the Web visitor is accessing the single site from a desktop, tablet, mobile device or even a mobile-enabled refrigerator.

Continue reading

The Top 5 Web Design Trends Today (Besides Responsive Design)

ASK-THE-EXPERT-BEN-DILLONWith the growing number of ways that consumers access the Internet, responsive design is fast becoming the industry standard for hospital websites. Responsive design isn’t just a new tool to engage with site visitors. It has produced a ripple effect in website design that’s improving the experience for both mobile and desktop users.

In his Ask the Expert column, “What Are the Top Web Design Trends Today?,” which appeared in the April 2014 issue of eHealthcare Strategy & Trends, Geonetric’s Vice President, Ben Dillon, details the top design trends influenced by responsive design.

In this article, Ben covers:

  • Why so many healthcare organizations are focusing on mobile-first design
  • Why flat design is one of the most visible trends coming from responsive design
  • What elements make up the visual storytelling design trend
  • How contemporary design and the return to minimalism influence website design
  • What techniques healthcare can leverage that are being borrowed from other Web experiences

Be sure to check out this article if you’re planning a redesign in the near future.

Images: Your Organization’s Welcome Mat

www.milfordregional.org

www.milfordregional.org

We’ve all done it. We’ve all ordered the burger on the menu that has a picture accompanying the description. Why do we do this? Because it lets us become familiar with our food before it arrives.

Using your own images on your website entertains the same concept. The images you use should be a welcome mat for your visitors, making sure they feel familiar with your waiting room, your staff, or your gift shop, before they walk through the door.

Continue reading

The Elements of an Effective Campaign Landing Page

When it comes to measuring the success of an inbound marketing campaign, many healthcare marketers focus on high pageviews and low bounce rates. But the real ROI is in the conversion rate. Conversions mean the campaign landing page is successfully persuading visitors to take a specific action.

So what makes a great landing page?

  • Clear Call to Action: What do you want the user to do? Register for a seminar, submit a story or schedule an appointment? When the user gets to your landing page, make it very clear what action they should take next, and keep it simple. A short form right on the landing page is often most effective and involves one less click for the user, removing a potential barrier for converting.
  • Solid Content: Keep your content concise and be sure it answers your site visitor’s question. Don’t confuse or distract the user with noise.
  • Consistent Branding: The landing page should visually match other marketing pieces used in the campaign. Users will leave the landing page if they are confused by inconstancy between where they heard of your campaign and the landing page they come to.
  • Strategy: Don’t let your campaign’s landing page be a last minute addition. When you’re planning a campaign remember that the Web component is one of the most important piece – and often the conversion! — so make sure it’s not an afterthought.

A well thought out landing page can make or break a marketing campaign. Start with what action you want the visitor to take in order to accomplish a pre-determined goal and include the other elements listed above.

Putting it in Practice

For a great healthcare landing page example take a look at the Restore Campaign at Owensboro Health. Owensboro Health does a great job of implementing the tips mentioned above. The page is highlighting not only a specialized, minimally-invasive service, but also the top-notch physicians. The appointment request is a short, simple form and acts as a clear call to action.

OMHS-Restore-Campaign-Landing-Page

Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula Moves to its New Web Home

CHOMP-Responsive-DesignMoving to a new home – an exciting milestone in many people’s lives. Then, you realize you have to pack. You look at all your belongings and – maybe – cringe. What should you take? What should you discard? What fits the style and look of your new home?Your website is no different. You are constantly evaluating your content (or, trying to!). What stays? What stays, but needs an update? What goes?

Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula (CHOMP) worked with Geonetric to launch their newly-designed website. They sought an updated, clean look and feel, as well as the desire to move to a responsive website that presented all users with the content they need, regardless of device. At the same time, CHOMP knew it wasn’t just about getting a new look. They had to clean house and reorganize.

Continue reading

Don’t Get Left Behind: Twitter’s New Profile Design Rolls Out

new twitter profile header

Back in February I gave a head’s up that Twitter was experimenting with a profile design. At that point only profiles deemed ‘early adopters’ received the new design and Twitter recorded how those users interacted and utilized it. Apparently Twitter liked what they saw; they’ve rolled the new profile design out to all Twitter profile pages.

Most marketers use Twitter through APIs like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck or the Twitter mobile app. To apply the new profile design on your account or the accounts you manage, you need to log in to Twitter’s actual website. A prompt will appear in a blue box encouraging you to take a brief tour of the new design. The prompt highlights the major visual changes of the redesign including:

  • Bigger profile header image (recommended size: 1500×500 pixels)
  • Bigger profile image (recommended size: 400×400 pixels)
  • Pinning a Tweet to the top of your feed

But there is more to the new design than what you’ll find in Twitter’s tour. To save you time, I made a list of action items you should apply to all your Twitter accounts right away.

Continue reading

Top Tasks and the Paradox of Choice

checklist

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Good Design: Always the Next Big Trend

Good-Design-is-Unobstrusive

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?”

Continue reading

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

nverhey-twitter-redesign-2014_1

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Three Things You Should Do For Your Website Right Now

checklist

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:

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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!

Continue reading