The Coffey Blog
Healthcare website design in 2017: Top trends to watch
Website design trends and best practices are constantly changing. That's not news.
But the changes in design trends that are taking place now are particularly significant. A healthcare website that's created today with a mobile-first approach will be markedly different from a website that was designed even two years ago.
Understanding how trends have changed can help you better evaluate your website and plan for the updates needed to meet the needs of your healthcare organization and the people in your community.
Healthcare website design trends marketers need to know
Probably the most important overarching trend in healthcare website design is that design is becoming more strategic than ever before. Surfacing every possible navigation option is definitely out, replaced by a more thoughtful, intentional user experience that anticipates the intent and expectations of people who visit the website. Pages are cleaner and less cluttered, focusing more on helping people complete the goal at hand than on providing a broad range of different task options.
Here's a closer look at some specific trends.
Design informed by content
It used to be fairly common for hospital website redesigns and content projects to happen separately. But that strategy is on the way out in favor of a content-first approach. Letting content inform design means taking time to understand the goals of people who visit the website and using design to help guide them through a more directed experience—as opposed to using a kitchen-sink approach that doesn't account for what an individual who visits a given page is likely to want to do next.
Creating a user-experience road map can help inform your website design.
When desktop ruled design, avoiding scrolling was a best practice. The rise of mobile has changed that. Now, people expect to scroll. Scrolling can even be part of an engaging design, with a mix of fixed columns and parallax scrolling that provide visual interest.
Navigational design features, like back-to-top buttons, can help ensure a good user experience on long pages.
Fixed (or "sticky") navigation
Sticky navigation stays at the top of the page, even as someone scrolls. It's a simple but effective way to make navigation easy—even if a page is long.
Another bonus of sticky navigation: It lets you keep your logo front-and-center as a person scrolls.
Increased use of illustrations
Clean, simple iconography is increasingly used in place of photography. Done well, this approach can give your website a unique look and feel—especially if illustrations are replacing stock images.
Illustrations can help you tie visuals directly to the content on the page to create a cohesive message.
Background videos and animations
Motion adds a dynamic quality to websites. And as bandwidth limitations recede, we're seeing increased use of videos and animations as background elements. On a healthcare website, for example, background video might show a positive doctor-patient interaction or lifestyle sequences that portray healthy outcomes, or help showcase your facility.
To see an example of background video used on a nonhealthcare website, check out litespeed.com.
A card-based layout is kind of like a clutter-free bulletin board. This highly visual type of design puts content in columns, which lets people easily pick and choose the items that interest them.
Pinterest is a great example of card-based layout done right.
Coming in 2017—a new Coffey website
The Coffey website is headed for a redesign in 2017. We'll be putting at least some of the above trends into action on this site as well as on the websites we create for our clients. Watch for the new site this spring.