It’s no secret that much of the healthcare industry was a little behind when it came to digital transformation. There are a lot of reasons for that: slow moving bureaucracies, apprehensive users, and government regulations—to list a few.
Then, in a few years time, digital healthcare became a crowded market. As of 2019, there were 318,000+ health-related mobile applications available to consumers (nearly double than 2017), and investments of $7.4 billion for 359 different U.S. digital health startups.
What happened? Digital proved that it could help health organizations grow their reach, serve their patients, empower their teams—and, in return, expand their margins. In the competitive space, a good website can be a great first step to positioning your organization. It can help you grow, serve, and empower. It can help you stand out.
That’s what this article is about: the good websites out there. We’ve identified 9 health organizations that are setting (and surpassing) the standard of digital experiences in the healthcare industry.
What Makes a Healthcare Website “Good”
A website is an extension of your organization. It should help you do what you want to do, say what you want to say, and serve who you want to serve. It should empower your team (primarily, your marketing team) to communicate to your audience. It should reflect what you believe.
A good digital experience needs to represent your organization’s perspectives, solve common problems, and harness big opportunities.
How A Website Should Support Healthcare Marketing
The healthcare industry is anchored in service. “First, do no harm” is a part of every doctor’s oath and most organizations echo a similar commitment in their mission statement. You work hard to put your users first—focusing time, money, and energy to make their experience the best it can be. Your website should reflect this commitment with a user-centric web design.
The healthcare industry is more complex than other industries. Communication is important, and it’s just as important to educate as it is to listen (why Listerine had to educate consumers about Gingivitis to sell mouthwash). Your website shouldn’t make an already complicated industry more complicated than it needs to be.
The healthcare industry is all about people…but oftentimes, healthcare can almost feel sterile, inhuman, and cold. And, it’s even easier to slip into an impersonal tone when translating your brand digitally (tech doesn’t help in this department). Your website needs a human digital strategy. It needs to be a warm, welcoming place that makes people feel both confident and comfortable.
How We Selected Our Favorite Websites
We think the best healthcare websites are…
- Patient-first: Do they prioritize the patient? Do they have strong UX (user experience)? Is it accessible and user-friendly?
- Simple: Do they make the complex more approachable? Do they communicate in a way—with copy and design—that the average person can understand?
- Approachable, welcoming, and genuine: Do they put people at ease? Do they make something sterile feel personable? Do they feel genuine and unique, rather than cookie-cutter?
From asking our team at Clique (and searching Google enough to get healthcare ads on my personal instagram), here are 9 of the best healthcare website designs we could find.
Our Favorite Healthcare Websites (and Why We Love Them)
Website: https://www.zocdoc.com/ (also an app)
“Looking for a new doc or scheduling an appointment can be a little intimidating or overwhelming and for me personally, Zocdoc has done a great job of changing that feeling. There are a lot of great ways to find what you need (different filters, map views, availability, etc.) and you can schedule appointments without having to call and wait on the line. It houses all your appointments, the doctors you’ve visited, insurance info, etc. in clear and easy to find ways. And the look and feel of the experience is just brighter and more welcoming. It makes the relationship of making appointments and going to the doctor more positive and proactive.” — Emma Foley, Design Lead
Zocdoc is a great example of patient-first design. One micro interaction on their homepage demonstrates this: their homepage’s application section.
Zocdoc has a “Send link” interaction where you can type in your phone number and have the application link sent to your phone. Rather than interested users having to copy-and-paste or re-lookup the site on their mobile device, this gives them a streamlined way to complete the task (speaking from personal experience). It’s a relatively simple interaction but it makes the experience so much easier for users, and in turn, helps earn Zocdoc conversions.
From a visual and branding perspective, Tia is warm, inviting, and approachable. And, equally as important, it’s true to their mission: “Tia is the next generation women’s healthcare platform bringing empathy and innovation together to help women thrive.”
The branding choices appeal to the “next generation”: Millennials and Gen Z’s (their target audiences). It’s usage of bold, bright colors differentiates it from the common blue-and-white palette of many other healthcare organizations.
Their illustrations and photography are inclusive and on-brand—and mixing the two mediums creates an interesting experience. Overall, it evokes a playful and casual experience that makes the organization feel welcoming, while also carrying a professional and polished undertone that every healthcare organization needs to communicate. It’s a friendly website.
“I like what they did with the branding of the site and how it appeals to their target audience. I also like how sleek and subtle the site and it’s interactions are. They make for a seamless use of the site. The information is ordered in a very clear manner and it is easy to understand how the site functions.” — Jada Hampton, Junior Designer
Flutter connects well with their target audience: women. But, rather than fall into common gender-based stereotypes, they take a bold approach with their copy. The headline reads, “WOMEN’S HEALTH. PERIOD.” With one line, it establishes them as a bold, strong, straight-forward brand. It makes health information a little less daunting.
Throughout the homepage and the entire site, this tone is persistent—creating a cohesive and relatable experience for someone who is tired of dealing with painful periods.
Another highlight is their “about” section on the homepage. They pair their blunt copy with statistics. It works to build their logos (logical appeal) and pathos (emotional appeal) to their audience. Their content strategy remains strong and cohesive throughout the experience.
Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU)
“It has a clean, bright, navigable homepage. Despite having so many branches as a research hospital and medical school, they do a great job of organizing content. They make immediate information super easy to find. Also, I think the site itself just really feels like the Oregon area; it feels like the community.” — Zoë Reagan, Project Manager & UX Strategist
The homepage balances two important tasks: 1) Being a source of navigation and 2) Telling the OHSU story.
Beneath the banner, there’s an audience-based navigation—a navigation section that groups content by audience-type. This is a great way to organize content because it gives users an easy path to navigate: they know who they are, and, from there, can find what they need.
Then, there’s a section on the homepage dedicated to OHSU’s greater purpose. The copy reads, “We are torchbearers,” and helps distinguish their brand amongst other organizations. It’s a minor touch, but adds a beautifully human element to an otherwise simple website.
“SonderMind has a sleek and simple design that doesn’t overwhelm you with information. A benefits-driven message paired with a clear call-to-action is the beginning of a crisp and clean user experience. Even the process of signing up considers the user’s needs throughout the journey.” — Brent Trotter, Content Strategist
Although SonderMind is a relatively new company, you’d never know by just landing on their site: the color palette, attention to detail, and messaging creates a sense of professionalism and trust.
The copywriting on their homepage also adds a notable benefit to the experience. Mirroring how a person actually speaks, the headlines are statements instead of clever quips. The pace creates a sense of comfort to the website. Their story-driven makes users feel spoken to, not at.
“With a clean and elegant design, One Medical leans on bold and beautiful typography to deliver their message in a welcoming and comforting manner. Leaning on earthy greens and yellows, they create a calming effect (something that all healthcare companies strive for). Their use of photography is a welcome and fresh approach to typical healthcare stock photos.” — Austin Golownia, Design Lead
The design elements on One Medical are cohesive and effective. One specific element to note is their use of a notification banner at the top of the website. With this capability, they can address something that might be top-of-mind for their user (see ex. in above image “Worried about coronavirus? Here’s what you should know”). It shows that they’re proactive, listening, and ready to help.
The initial landing impression of this website stands out amongst competitors for one reason: the search bar is the focus. Paired with a video to build the brand and feeling of community, the prominence of the search bar tells their users, “We have what you’re looking for.” It’s also robust, suggesting search terms to push users past their discomfort in using something new for the first time.
DHR also uses animation to teach their users how to use the site. A bouncing scroll icon in the initial impression catches users’ eyes and notifies them that scrolling isn’t only possible, but encouraged. A map that could be stagnant in print, has rotating pulsing dots to show users that it’s interactive, and encourage users to give it a try. On hover, things change color. These animations are micro, some even subtle, but they help make the site more engaging for their users.
“Kindbody’s overall aesthetic paints the brand as very approachable. The warm color palette and curated photography is very calming and inviting. The site is very easy to navigate, guiding you through the various services they offer. The detailed descriptions of services and appointments are easily digestible and their upfront approach to providing pricing information leads the user to view them as honest and trustworthy.” — Janina Boyle, Designer
Kinbody also builds trust with third-party validation.
At the bottom of their homepage, there’s a section that features quotes from different reputable press sources. And it’s followed by a section that highlights a patient testimonial and her experience with Kindbody. Taking a “show, don’t tell” approach to the story of their organization helps people feel more at-ease.
Health-on-line’s web experience shows the difference between a healthy lung and a smoker’s lung. It features interactive points where, upon click, users can learn about the specific functions of a lung. The interaction is fairly simple and carries a powerful message.
The site also shares an embed code so a user who’s visiting—perhaps a journalist or another health educational source—has the ability to copy-and-paste the code into a piece of content of their own. Sharing it is easy on social media too, with integrations to the user’s twitter and facebook feeds.
Although it’s not a typical “healthcare website” or “hospital website,” it shows how digital can be used to educate—beyond what other mediums can do.
Good for People. Good for Business.
Most of the websites on our list share one important thing above all else: they were built not “with the user in mind,” but for the user.
In other industries, serving the user is important because it leads to conversions: Building a simple UX flow helps drive sales, interviewing people about their problems helps craft copy that converts, making navigation easy to use gets them further into the funnel. And yes, conversions are important for healthcare organizations, but serving your user matters more than just conversions.
In healthcare, serving the user is important because it upholds your mission, your commitment to help people, your reason for existing. At the core of every decision you make, you put the user first. Why should that be different when it comes to making your website? (Hint: it shouldn’t be).