Medical web design usability issues

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Over the last several weeks we’ve been studying various medical web designs including family physicians, ob/gyn, plastic surgeons, orthopaedics, and  more. One of the most remarkable things we’ve found is the lack of concern for usability in the design. Website usability can be defined as the measure of how usable a website is. By usable, we mean, how easily visitors are able to find what they are seeking or perform the tasks they’re wishing to do. Usability is the most important factor in ROI. It’s not aesthetics or fancy copy. Usability is what most directly impacts the bottom line. 

For some unknown reason, firms that specialize in medical website design tend to throw out usability. I don’t know why. My only guess is that they do so much to please the client, that they actually forget about the end user. However, it is our view at Stone Soup that keeping the end user in mind is what our clients really want. With family practice websites, we don’t want to create a website that appeals to doctors. We want to create a website that appeals to patients. I think many firms lose that focus since the doctors are the ones paying the bills. However, I think it’s our duty as professionals to assert our knowledge and understanding of the actual users and make sure they’re the focus of any new design or redesign. When we do this, we gain the trust of our clients. And our clients become more successful because of it.

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