Web Design Best Practices – The Don’ts
Effective web design is a bit like dating. You want to put your best foot forward, but there are so many decisions to be made. Some are obvious – parachute pants are NOT flattering – and others are more difficult – should my practice address be on every page? For detailed information on the do’s and don’ts of website design download ProSites’ latest whitepaper, 10 Best Practices for Creating Great Dental Websites. If you’re looking for a shortcut check out the suggestions below.
Irrelevant – don’t be it. Like a waiter asking how you’d like your steak tartar, a cover image that doesn’t immediately resonate with your audience is irrelevant. If your practice is located in a metro area an image of rolling fields on your website doesn’t provide context. While lovely, it doesn’t reflect your practice or speak to your target audience.
Now’s not the time to be allusive. Unlike some potential dates, most website visitors have a pretty straight forward agenda. They want to know:
- Contact information
- Practice expertise
Don’t bury this information on a secondary page. Make sure it’s on your home page or clearly identified in the primary navigation.
Don’t be shy. Sometimes it’s ok to be bold – this is one of those times. Highlight patient testimonials in prominent locations throughout your website. Don’t relegate them to a separate page. Patient reviews are powerful, so make it easy for visitors to see them.
But don’t be too much either. Like the guy at the bar wearing a neon sweat suit, too many aesthetics will turn visitors off. While you may feel artistic creating a website with multiple colors and fonts, chances are visitors won’t share your enthusiasm. Remember that colors should be complementary and fonts need to be easy to read.
Time is of the essence. Some experiences, like waiting for the speed dating bell to ring or a website to load, seem to slow time. While you want to engage visitors, over doing it with animation or videos has the opposite effect. Everyone is busy and 40% of visitors will leave a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load.
Not being mobile-friendly is rude. Scanning your Facebook feed during dinner may be a faux pas, but having a website that isn’t optimized for mobile viewing is worse. Aside from not being easily accessible to current and prospective patients, non-responsive sites (i.e. not adaptive to mobile device screens) rank lower in search results, making it harder for your practice to be found. Guarantee an easy user experience across devices by ensuring your website is responsive.