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MedNews Blog

Website design and what works for your practice today

Written by Steve Ruhs
April 1, 2009

When developing your website there are certain elements that you should make sure to include to improve your design and functionality, as well as other elements that you should avoid.

What to have on your website:

Priority:
Make sure that your website is designed with the priorities of your practice in mind. These priorities should be a key focus of your design and accentuated to be easily viewed by your audience.

Compartmentalize:
Different ideas and components should be separated on your site with boxes, colors or lines for different elements of your practice. There needs to be a clear distinction between the differing ideas you are attempting to express in your website.

“Call to action”:
This is a clear directive given by you to encourage your audience to take immediate action. It is often displayed as an icon or form, photo gallery or blog. Instead of having a link that says “contact us”, you can entice viewers with something more proactive, such as “Click here for a free consultation.” By doing so, you are inviting the viewer to contact you immediately so that they can get started at their earliest convenience, thereby helping to speed the process of building up your clientele. Providing perks, such as free consultations, can often help viewers decide to pursue your practice.

Highlights:
Areas on your website that are most important to your practice should be spotlighted. In determining the priorities of your practice, the most important aspects should be highlighted so that the viewer knows what services your practice provides.

Design:
If your practice is in medicine, try to build a website that is clean and crisp with bright colors. Use secondary colors to show areas that can be clicked on. If the design appears too cluttered and messy, it may send the wrong message about your practice to potential clients.

These components should be avoided since they may be deemed as a turn off by your specific audience:

Music:
People have their own opinions as to the type of music that they find enjoyable. For some, listening to music when they view a website can be considered annoying. People may also research your practice while they are at work where it may be an inappropriate time to listen to music. Music can be an effective feature on movie websites, since the soundtrack is often what makes a film so spectacular but for practice websites, information is key.

Splash Page/Enter Site:
Years ago this was a popular style used for most websites. Now, it is not only an extra click of the mouse, but lacks the links that search engines love. You only have a limited time to grab your visitors and bring them into your site. The goal, in designing your site, is to make sure that what your visitors came to the site for is on the first page. Eliminating the splash page help keep viewers captivated by what your site has to offer for a longer period of time.

Different web technologies and design styles have come and gone over the course of time; some proving to be timeless and others leaving the scene as quickly as they arrived. It is important to recognize that the styles that are no longer considered ideal were perhaps not used appropriately by practices and businesses, thus turning off their respective audiences.

In order to maintain a functional and current website, you should balance classic design techniques with the latest website technology. Your visitor should be able to navigate your website with ease and be conveniently guided to the priorities and defining characteristics of your practice. By highlighting these components, viewers are more likely to contact you to schedule an appointment or seek out additional information. Remembering these simple tips and suggestions, to improve the overall appearance, functionality and presentation of your website will help keep your site current and refreshed for your general audience of web viewers.


Category: Website Design


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