With technology, it seems that just when we get a handle on how to best use some application or device everything changes, and we need to relearn the deal. The pace of change can seem overwhelming.
It’s no different for you as an orthopedic practitioner. The newest hip replacement options, the latest techniques for minimally invasive arthroscopy, even the latest materials being used in artificial knees — you have to stay current or risk getting left behind.
Is, your orthopedic practice website doing the same?
Sure it may look nice, but is it incorporating the latest design trends that are responding to how your patients and potential patients search and interact with websites? At Advice Media, we’ve been at the forefront of medical website design for 20 years, not only adapting, but often introducing features that become industry standard. Let’s go through some of these trends, and you can see if your website is keeping pace.
Designed for desktop. Unreadable on mobile.
Your orthopedic website looks great on a big, 24-inch high-resolution monitor. How does it look on a 5.5-inch iPhone 8? Is your formatting such that it instantly adjusts, and stays readable, on a mobile device? Or does a visitor on his or her phone spend a few seconds trying to expand the screen and then give up?
Search is being done more and more on our smartphones and tablets. Internet usage swung in favor of mobile versus desktop last year. Now up to 60 percent of all internet usage is being done on our devices; this includes search. But that can’t search for medical issues, right? Wrong. A report by Hitwise in spring 2016 pegged mobile search for health services at 68 percent. Whoa. Turns out the guy who just felt his shoulder pop when he fell snowboarding is researching “Shoulder injuries” on his phone when he’s soothing his bruised shoulder, and ego, over a beer in the lodge.
Not one to miss trends, Google has begun penalizing websites that are not mobile-responsive. What is “mobile responsive?” A mobile-responsive website automatically changes its layouts and menu placements and buttons automatically to adapt to the smaller realm of the phone/tablet screen.
Every website we design at Advice Media is mobile friendly. When designing, we have one eye on our phones to see how the design will fly on the smaller screens. We don’t sacrifice our desktop layouts, but they work just as well on the phone. Plus, visitors to both platforms instantly recognize the continuity of your brand.
How patients search for doctors- presented by Google
Menus when the patient needs them
You may know the menu of your favorite Thai joint almost by heart. Not so with visitors to your orthopedic website. When they need a menu, it should be there.
What do we mean by that? We’ve found that when people are scrolling down a page, they are usually looking at the content, such as reading about how their shoulder could have partially separated. On the desktop, we leave up an overlay menu at the very top of the page, even when users are downward scrolling. On our mobile designs, when the user scrolls downward, we hide the menu. But the slightest move upward brings up an overlay at the top of the page with access to the full menu bar. Of course, this includes a direct link to the practice phone.
These menus are known as “sticky menus.” We make them a mainstay of every site we design at Advice, and they make it almost impossible for a user to not have access to a menu precisely when they want one.You can see in the animation below how the menu stays with the user as they scroll through on their phone.
Images and video
If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a video worth? Granted, people spend far too much of their precious time viewing cat videos or videos of teens eating an entire bottle of ketchup, but video usage is soaring, and your website needs video content to stay up to date. Graphic video of shoulder replacement surgery may be a little much, but maybe an animation explaining how the shoulder works could be very popular. A video of you showing the most popular options for artificial knees, and explaining the differences between brands/models would be very enlightening to a potential patient contemplating the procedure. When interested in a consultation, why not call the guy or gal who already explained the nuances of artificial knees? Research shows that 73 percent of users said that seeing an informative video influences their decisions.
Beautiful, high-resolution photos are equally important for orthopedic website design. They engage the website visitor; they add graphic elements to break up the copy, and they can be enlightening on their own. A hi-res illustration of the hip can give a potential patient an idea of where their pain may be coming from, and it also positions you and your practice as an expert that can be trusted to alleviate the pain.
Trust Advice Media to be on top of orthopedic website design
Trends can be hard to keep up with. Just ask your neighbor’s teenager who is still wearing his pants falling off his backside. Uh, that was so 2013!
You’re busy staying abreast of the orthopedic world. Trust us to stay abreast of what works when it comes to orthopedic website design. At Advice Media, we build, optimize, and maintain beautiful, engaging websites for over 1500 clients across the medical spectrum, and we’ve done so for two decades. We know a thing or two about building a hard-working website — why not let us build one for your orthopedic practice?