Many healthcare professionals tend to be artistically inclined; they appreciate the beauty of their craft and spend years perfecting it. Unfortunately, not all website developers are artists. In fact, websites should really be created by two individuals – a graphic designer responsible for the aesthetics and a developer responsible for the code which serves as the foundation for the site. When a design background is absent from the development process, the resulting site is often riddled with design faux pas. Below are five of the most common offenders. Take a look to see if your site is suffering from any of these design issues:
For years, Flash was the most popular form of animation, allowing movement on websites. In the wake of recent discoveries which found that the Flash plug-in posed a number of security risks, several popular browsers no longer support the plug-in. This form of animation also isn’t supported by the iOS operating system meaning visitors with an iPhone, iPad or Mac computer won’t be able to view the sequence. With all of the risks, and the declining accessibility among visitors, it’s important that your site be free from Flash Animation; HTML5 Animation is a better alternative and can be accessed across all devices and browsers.
Overly Used Stock Photos
Stock photos are necessary when office, team or patient photos aren’t available but there are good stock photos and then there are really awful stock photos. When it comes to medical and dental sites, many practices feature antiquated images that are used by a ton of other competitors and local businesses– you know that multi-generational family walking through the park that your bank, the grocery store and the library all use on their marketing materials? Try to steer clear of these overly used images which can help your site get lost in the crowd.
In addition to poor stock photos, many sites simply have an outdated look; they rely on a narrow layout, ancient fonts and feature archaic tools like a website counter. The problem with having an outdate sites is that it fails to adequately represent your cutting edge practice.
No Distinguishable Branding
Your website should showcase your practice’s brand; it isn’t your practice’s brand. We often encounter sites which simply feature the practice’s name in Times New Roman, along with the phone number. There is no logo, no stylized wordmark and no tagline. When there is no memorable branding, there is also no powerful first impression.
A Cookie Cutter Layout
While it may not be seen as a faux pas per se, the cookie cutter layout is definitely a design issue for the modern practice. We’ve all encountered them, the boxy sites with the header graphic in one box, the content in another and the menu in yet another. With the cookie cutter layouts, there are no bleeds and generally little, if any, visual intrigue for the visitor.
At Zola Interactive, we specialize in providing healthcare professionals with state of the art technology and innovative designs to help them create websites they’re proud to show off.