Website design and medical marketing can only be successful if you embrace one key component of all human interaction: communication. Whether you think you’re communicating or not, you’re communicating. Communication happens through a variety of avenues. Body language, the tone of your voice, your facial expressions – it all plays a role in how you interact with those around you.
When working on website design for medical practices it’s important to remember that there’s a variety of personalities that come into play. Designers tend to be a little more fly by the seat of their pants. Physicians and dentists are usually more organized. And marketers often bring a vision that the entire team needs to understand.
Working with so many personality types can be difficult, however, it’s important to remember in website design for medical practices that this communication will be the crux of your success. Communicating your expectations and desires for your website to your web designer will help to ensure you get the final product you need, understand why they’re recommending a certain feature, and have a well-rounded knowledge of your website’s functions.
The first step in working with a designer is to hire one experienced in medical website design. Look at their design portfolio, check out past websites they’ve worked on, and get a clear idea of where they stand in the world of design.
If possible, talk to previous clients of the designer to hear about their experience working with him/her.
The more information you get about the designer the more likely you are to trust them through the design process.
Take a Crash Course in Design
When it comes to working with a designer, it helps to have a very general idea of what they do and what you can expect from them. Watch some YouTube videos by designers in which they talk about their process of taking on new clients, what they expect from them, and how they like to interact.
Just like any professional, it can make a big difference to be able to put yourself in the shoes of the person you’re working with. It can help you work through miscommunications and offer a different perspective on the various situations you might find yourself in.
All of these details will make it easier to interact with the designer you choose to hire.
Understand the Designer’s Role
Understanding the role of your designer in creating medical websites will help you to know what your limitations are. Many miscommunications between designers and clients can be related to a misunderstanding of what the designer is responsible for.
Designers are responsible for the overall look of a website or print piece. But the production portion of designing is given to people who communicate with printers or website development. Between the designer and production specialists, you should set clear boundaries as to who will handle what.
A production process will make the entire process of designing and launching a new website easier and more enjoyable for everyone involved.
Know What You Want
Before you even start communicating with a designer, begin the design process by knowing what you want your website to do. In website design for medical professionals, it is important to know your goals.
Do you want your website to get leads? Do you want it to provide patients with informational articles that motivate them to take a certain action? Whatever your goals for your website and individual web pages, it is important that you think about them before you begin the design process.
Once you know your goals, you can look at websites that have similar goals and determine what you like about them and what you dislike. Understanding what you like and dislike will make a difference in the overall look and feel of your site.
You don’t want to copy every website you see, but as you work with the designer you will develop a functional medical website that meets your goals, yet uniquely communicates the essence of your practice.
Think About Content
The content on your website will make a difference in the overall tone and feel of your website. Your goal in setting up and outlining content is to establish a clear hierarchy of content. What’s important and what is not?
Before your start working with the designer outline the content (by working with a marketer experienced in website layout and content). While the content might change, this will give the designer a clear idea of how to arrange it and what website elements might be needed to organize the site and content.
Understand Budget Ahead of Time
Before you ever hire a designer, it’s crucial that you think about the budget you have in mind and what you want from that budget. Most miscommunications that happen at the end of the design process stem from budget miscommunications.
Perhaps the client expected a certain component to be included in the budget, while the designer doesn’t offer that service or charges extra for it. A detailed proposal that outlines what the budget is and what each line item will cost will help to clarify any confusion of what you’re getting for your money.
Set a Clear Timeline
A clear timeline of website design for healthcare professionals will help to manage expectations of when certain milestones should be reached. When you have these milestones set, you and the designer both know when goals need to be met and what should be done.
Trust Your Designer
Ultimately the relationship between a designer and their client is one that has to be based on trust. If you don’t completely trust the person that you have hired, then you aren’t set up for success.
When you don’t trust the person working on your website that comes through various communications and causes problems.
Find a designer you trust, appreciate, and understand. By having complete confidence in the person you’re working with you will find that the design process moves much more smoothly and you have peace of mind.