As a specialist in creating clear and simple communications in healthcare, I have, over the years, looked at hundreds of websites in the sector. What I have encountered varies wildly, from sites stuck in the last decade that are impossible to browse on your mobile to state-of-the-art platforms that get their message across succinctly whilst offering a smooth, meticulously thought-out user journey. Of the healthcare websites I’ve visited recently, I’ve picked four of my favourites. They all stuck in my mind and below I will explain why.
Unsurprisingly for a company dealing with such a cutting-edge service – online doctor consultations – the Babylon Health website (top) is a joy to use. The strapline “Instant medical advice. Anytime, anywhere” is a snappy description of the service Babylon provides, while the scrolling reviews, in most cases just a few, powerful words, make you want to find out more about this revolutionary new in-your-pocket doctor.
With prominent calls to action to download the app displayed at strategic points on the home page and persuasive facts and figures relating to safety, security and, most importantly, price – a reasonable £5 a month – the design is a great example of how combining responsive design with short but well thought-out copy can be a very compelling marketing tool.
Care, Companionship & Fun are the words Avery Healthcare uses to describe its care and retirement homes. They set the tone for a website that has been thoughtfully designed to capture the spirit of this award-winning residential care provider.
The website always feels genuine because Avery has chosen to use videos and images of real residents and staff rather than stock photography. And well-being, rather than facilities, is top of the agenda, something that, if you watched the recent Channel 4 documentary “Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds”, is a big area of concern, whether you are moving in to a care home yourself or searching for a home for a loved one.
With the feelings of depression and loneliness, and lack of mobility, that are regularly encountered among care home residents, Avery’s upbeat statement on its home page, that “we believe that your later years should be as enriching as any other, and that being cared for shouldn’t mean that your quality of living is compromised”, addresses these concerns positively and, with its dedicated well-being programmes, proactively.
After visiting the site I was left with the impression that, in later life, I would be very happy to stay in an Avery home, and there can be no higher praise than that.
The leading independent health and wellbeing site in the UK, millions of people visit the NetDoctor website (above) each month, and it’s easy to see why. With its magazine-style layout, catchy headlines and down-to-earth tone of voice, topical healthcare subjects are presented in a way that makes you want to read them – one of the biggest challenges in this sector, which regularly has to communicate complex information to a non-specialist audience who are unfamiliar with medical terms.
Women are catered for with content devoted to relationships, pregnancy, children and the latest health food trends, and there are plenty of articles aimed at men too covering everything from prostate cancer to winter fitness. If you’re not in the mood for scrolling, the search function allows you to find what you are looking for quickly and efficiently.
In this era of healthcare information being plentiful online, it is becoming increasingly difficult to separate fact from opinion, and the fact that all content is written by healthcare professionals and health journalists has made NetDoctor a trusted resource. It also offers a helpful, easy-to-use tool, called Symptom Checker, which asks you to input your age, region and symptoms before giving you possible diagnoses and flagging the most common – a much more reliable alternative to Googling.
Every good fertility clinic sells its services online using a combination of cute baby pictures, success stories and rigorous science, but the Lister Fertility Clinic has one very clever way of catching your attention immediately. Displayed in the top right of the website (above) is the number of babies born after treatment at the clinic: 17,250 and rising.
In this highly emotive sector, what could be more compelling than an exact figure, demonstrating a clinic’s success rate? It immediately instils trust, which the Lister reinforces with videos of real people and their babies, and a powerful brand message: “We believe in treating everyone” (the Lister specialises in treating women who have often been refused elsewhere).
Overall, the website is easy to navigate, talks sensitively to the reader and is mindful of the concerns facing many couples who have suffered failure in the past. It’s just a shame that the very persuasive “number of babies born” figure is not visible when browsing on your mobile.