Are you a health or wellness provider (massage therapist, physiotherapist, psychotherapist, nutritionist, or similar)?
Are you trying to build your own website and not sure how to make it look its best? Or, maybe you’re working with a professional but they’re asking you for feedback, and you aren’t sure what to say?
Whether you’re building your own website or working with a professional to create one, it can be a little daunting to think about design if you’re not, well, a designer! But no matter what your role in the process, it’s a good idea to have some basic understanding of what makes good design and what does not.
Healthcare web design tip #1: Simple is Best
My clients are used to hearing me say this, but it’s such an essential part of designing a website!
When people visit your website, they’re there to learn about you, your services and how you can help them. They aren’t there for flashy features (unless you consider online booking to be flashy!). So, choose a design that is simple and allows your content to take centre stage.
Healthcare web design tip #2: Whitespace helps people understand your content
Whitespace is the space between all the other elements on a page: the images, text, navigation bar, and so on. It doesn’t have to be white, of course (that’s just the term for it), but it should be ’empty’. In other words: give things breathing room!
It can be tempting to cram in as much stuff as you can onto a page, especially if you have a lot of text to include. But whitespace helps people flow through your content and understand who you are, what you have to offer, and why they should book an appointment.
Think of it like this: If you were reading a book and the entire book was just one long, huge paragraph of text, would it be easy to read? Would you have an easy time understanding the storyline?
I’m guessing you’d much rather have the text divided into paragraphs, sections and chapters.
Your website is the same way! Things need breathing room to be understood.
Healthcare web design tip #3: Stick to one or two fonts.
You might find yourself looking at fonts for your website and wanting to pick out a bunch of different ones. I understand that temptation! Especially these days where services like Google Fonts have made it super simple for us.
That said: it really is best to keep it simple. Changing fonts too many times within a single page can be jarring. As well, the more fonts your website has to load, the slower the site will be. If you’ve ever been on a website that took forever to load, you probably understand why we want to avoid that!
I recommend choosing one font for your headers (titles) and one for your main body text. Make sure the ones you choose are complementary as this will help your design look more professional.
Healthcare web design tip #4: Go easy on the colors
It’s ok to have some color on your website! After all, that’s one way to show your personality and brand. But, like we’ve been saying, simple is best, and you want clients to be able to read your website!
Light green text on a white background is hard to read. Or, having silver text over a colorful photo. Both of those choices might look nice, but ultimately, you need to make sure clients can read your content without having to squint.
For the most part, you’ll want to stick to black or dark grey text on a white background, with some accent colors used for links, the navigation bar, social media icons and other small design details. This keeps things minimal and professional without being boring.
Healthcare web design tip #5: Don’t overwhelm your clients with a huge navigation menu and tons of pages
It might seem like you need to put every single possible link on your main navigation menu, the one at the top of the screen when you open your website. That way people can find what they need, right?
But, if you cram it full of links, what you’re going to find is the opposite happens: people get overwhelmed seeing all the different options and all the different pages and don’t know where to start.
I recommend keeping your main navigation to a maximum of 7 or 8 items. If you have a business that offers a ton of different things, think about how you can organize those items to better help your audience flow through your website. Can you put secondary things into a drop-down menu? Can you combine two pages into a single, cohesive page? Can you even remove some information from your website? Remember, some information is better left to after the client books an appointment and gets properly assessed by you.
I find my design clients often feel they need to put every last bit of information about their business onto their website. I totally get the temptation!
But no matter what the topic, most people stop reading after a certain point. Even award-winning authors have editors who cut back their content and make changes in order to improve the flow.
So in order to make sure people come to your website and understand who you are, what your services are, and how you can help them (as in, why they should book an appointment!), pare things down to only the information that is truly needed.
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