Imarc

Best Practices for Healthcare Usability Bonnie Regan

Written on: August 17th, 2017 in best practices, user experience, web design

Healthcare has become a big topic in design recently, and for good reason; the field is calling for innovation. Recent studies have shown that hospitals that offer better patient experiences actually increase their profits.

As the market becomes more consumer-driven and patients are increasingly shopping around for their healthcare services, delivering a top-notch digital experience will help you stand out against your competitors.

Here are some tips to help you give your patients the best experience possible.

Design for complex users

Keeping your users top of mind is always important, but users of healthcare services often face unique challenges. For most people, dealing with their health is not something they look forward to. There’s a good chance they’re looking for health services because they already have an issue that needs addressing; your users may be sick, scared, hesitant or upset. These less-than-ideal conditions may decrease your users’ patience. Be sure they’re able to easily navigate for the information they’re looking for.

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Additionally, you'll need to address multiple users' needs and the various tasks they need to accomplish. Patients, caregivers, visitors and job seekers will all be performing different tasks; be sure your website addresses all of the use cases for your audiences.   

Be inclusive

The design of your digital experience should be accessible to everyone. Users of your website will be of varying ages, skill levels and ability levels; every visitor to your site should be able to access the same information.

Ensuring things like proper contrast of text, background colors and compatibility with screen readers will help your users get to the content they need.

For more information on inclusive design, check out the accessibility section of Imarc’s handbook.

Earn your users’ trust

Asking someone to trust you with their health is a huge undertaking. You should appear trustworthy and professional but friendly and approachable as well. A surefire way to gain a user's’ trust is by making your digital experiences as user-friendly as possible. After all, if they can’t easily navigate your website, why would they trust you to help them navigate their healthcare?

trsutDeliver a great mobile experience

At this point everyone should pay attention to their mobile experience, but it is of particular importance for healthcare websites. Patients may use their phone to look for information such as emergency room addresses, visiting hours, phone numbers or other content they may need in emergencies or on-the-go. A responsive website and a well-thought out mobile experience will ensure that your website is easy to use when patients need it most.

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