DESIGNING WEBSITES FOR HEALTHCARE
Designing and building websites in the health and pharmaceutical sector is somewhat different to other typical website briefs.
At Polar London we have built up our in-house experience to help clients tackle the common challenges when designing and building best in class websites for pharmaceutical products and targeting healthcare professionals.
Here are the most common challenges we hear and how we help tackle them.
Our website can’t show up on Google search?
We often hear that the website is intended for healthcare professionals only, we cant have the site appearing on Googlesearch?
There are simple steps from a development and UX point of view to take:
- Ensuring that when any users arrives at the site, that we clearly signpost for medical professionals vs steering the general public to the appropriate content.
- From a development perspective we configure robots.txt files to prevent spiders, review all HTTP headers and Metatags to be configured to actively discourage search engines from indexing the site.
These simple techniques are part of our process and help solve SEO.
How can we easily manage references?
Understanding the importance of legal and medical referencing is something we commonly come across, from a process and implementation perspective.
Working within content management systems (CMS) that are able to easily configure referencing should be common practice.
We recommend platforms such as WordPress – for easy CMS capabilities, which empowers our clients and content writers to easily manage, add and remove references throughout a website in a few simple steps.
We need a simple legal approval process?
Stakeholder management and approvals are obviously an important part of medical related content and publications online. We use simple staging environments for a phased approval cycle.
Staging: This environment would be a replica of the live site where our clients, legal teams and writers can update content and share via a browser (which is password protected), for internal and external approvals.
Production: Once staging is approved we move all amends to the production environment for final quality assurance and sign off before publishing.
Live: The live website sits on a secure hosting platform and can easily be updated through the above steps and approvals.
Content ‘One click away’
Its common for prescribing information and other legal requirements (T+C’s / privacy / disclaimer/ references) needing to be one click away at all times, we consider this at the early UX stages and integrated as part of the core build and quality assurance process.
Accessibility & Performance
Performance monitoring is always an option to consider. Dependent on visitor levels and content server configurations can be made as part of a recommended maintenance agreement.
Our sites have microcaching enabled to reduce load on database servers. *meaning the site wont crash with an influx of traffic.
Taking into consideration that accessibility will be key for users, there are measures we can take to ensure an accessible experience.
For users with lower bandwidth and or data access, hearing or visual disabilities, there are measures we can take as part of the design and build process, we would built the site and core content with lower rez /load capabilities, enabling all user to access the core information.
We recommend using WCAG checklist to track accessibility. Useful tool for AA compliance testing, covering points such as;
- Audio description
- text size
- image text
- consistent navigation
- error messaging and prevention
Simple, clean design and coding does lend itself well to smaller page downloads, increasing speed and access quality to the end user experience.
See our article on Web design trends for 2021.
- Managing visitor expectations with clear sign posting
- There are simple best practices to follow for not appearing on search engines
- Early stage development planning can assist when it comes to a simplified legal approval processes
- Its key to consider early stage planning during UX to solve ‘one click away’ requirements
- Accessibility can make the difference to someone consuming, accessing and sharing your content
Author: Alex Birch
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