Is your healthcare website user experience (UX) affecting the way patients see your system?
Understanding how user experience impacts website marketing is an essential step in healthcare website design. Consider how many times you’ve left a slow-loading webpage in frustration, or felt distracted by a site’s choice of font or color scheme. If it happens to you, it happens to your audience. And it may be happening with your healthcare UX design.
In contrast, Forrester Research reports that positive UX can increase your company’s conversion rates by up to 400 percent. However, taking UX into consideration is often a step that healthcare marketers forget.
“One of the most important things to remember about healthcare website design is that we’re all users,” says Sarah Fredriksson, senior managing editor at True North Custom. “When you go to a website and something irks you or throws you off, take note because it’s likely happening to others, as well.”
When considering how user experience impacts website marketing, begin by asking these questions:
1. Is your site mobile-friendly?
According to Google, 52% of users reported that they were less likely to engage with a company based on a bad mobile experience. Half of the users surveyed also said they would use a site less if it wasn’t compatible with mobile devices, no matter how much they liked the business.
“It doesn’t matter how great your content is,” says Eric Jackson, vice president of creative services at True North Custom. “If a website is not mobile-friendly, it won’t get used.”
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2. Does your content connect with users?
Content is an opportunity to build relationships with your audience. Accessible, humanizing content that answers day-to-day health questions is an excellent way to build trust among consumers. This holds true even when they aren’t shopping for healthcare services.
“Consumers might not need your services when experiencing your content, but they may interact with someone later and direct your content to them,” Fredriksson says. “Plus, the impression you leave behind increases the chance they will come back when they do need your service.”
3. Do you understand your audience?
Put simply, you can’t generate a positive user experience if you don’t know who your users are. This is why user research is essential for an effective content strategy. Understanding your audience’s needs, goals and preferences opens up the opportunity for customization.
“The more feedback you receive, the less guesswork you have to do, which saves you time and resources,” Jackson says. “By evaluating how users interact with content—directly or indirectly—you can ensure a successful user experience that achieves the goals of your web content strategy.”
4. Is your website inclusive and accessible by all audiences?
Other key issues that can impact UX for your healthcare website are diversity, inclusion and ADA compliance. In fact, the latest Hospital Digital Experience Index found that inclusion and quality of care are linked in the minds of consumers—including potential patients, employees and partners. According to the report, top-ranked hospital websites quadrupled their racially diverse hero images and featured twice as many women, typically in enhanced professional circumstances.
In addition, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has been a source of a tremendous amount of litigation since it was signed into law in 1990. When the ADA was enacted, no one knew the impact of the internet on our lives in the 21st century. This leads to many gray areas and ominous article headlines about technology’s influence. In order to create a website that is compliant with ADA regulations, you first have to ask yourself: “What makes a website accessible?” That, in of itself, is not defined by the ADA. However, the Department of Justice and many courts have used the 38 Level AA success criteria published in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 to help make that determination.
“Increased accessibility translates to better user experience,” says Jackson, “and the goal should always be to create the best user experience possible.”