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Medical Web Development – Technical and Design Basics

Medical Web Development

Are you planning to develop a medical website? Read carefully about the main technical features and design basics that should be incorporated into your future website.

Healthcare Web Development: Key Aspects and Design Basics

Google holds websites dedicated to providing medical information or services to high standards. To be considered for prominent search result positions by Google, websites with healthcare content must receive the blessing of its YMYL — “Your Money or Your Life” — algorithm. It evaluates the competency of people behind the website by assessing the quality of content, UX, and information architecture. YMYL also checks all resources that provide medical advice or information about health, drugs, and other healthcare-related things.

Medical Web Development: Key Technical Aspects

Consider focusing on the following aspects when developing a digital health resource.

HIPAA and HITECH compliance

If you plan to market your services to US consumers, your website must adhere to HIPAA requirements and HITECH enforcement & breach notification guidelines. Professional medical web development companies such as tend to include the development of HIPAA-compliant security infrastructure into their engineering services.

Privacy policy

Developers must ensure the highest levels of security of medical databases. Your commitment to keeping your clients’ information secret must radiate from every section of your Privacy policy — keep language concise and clear. A common mistake is to treat the Privacy policy as a webpage nobody reads — this is not the case with medical web resources; besides, if users won’t read about your commitment to privacy, OCR will.

TLS 1.2 or TLS 1.3 encryption

For websites that handle personal medical information, encryption is a necessity and a HIPAA Technical Safeguards requirement. According to recent NSA recommendations on eliminating obsolete encryption protocols, SSL protocol and TLS updates released earlier than the 1.2 version are outdated and will no longer be an asset in establishing HIPAA compliance. TLS 1.3 is the most recent version of the protocol.

Clear website navigation

Make sure that your website has a well-structured menu and a search bar — it will simplify navigation. Other useful navigation elements are so-called breadcrumbs and sidebars. 

Quality content

One of the most significant and influential elements of your website is its content. For best results, invite a medical professional to review posts, articles, descriptions, and every other piece of writing — preferably, before publishing. Your content must be unique. Once a text is indexed by search engines, every duplication is flagged as plagiarism. Websites that plagiarize are deemed low-quality by AI and are rarely seen in top results for user queries.

Well-organized content structure

No one likes a wall of text — unstructured content is annoying and frustrating for most users. People prefer content that is easy to skim, to read through. Search engines also favor websites with well-organized content. So: maintain clear information architecture: organize text into paragraphs, use descriptive titles and subtitles, lists, charts, and illustrations.

Medical Website – Design Basics

The design of your website should reflect the vision and style of your company. Align the style of your website with your advertising and marketing materials. Use your company logo and colors to build a brand that is easy to recognize. 

Flat design. If you do not yet have a certain style to follow, consider incorporating a flat design. It typically features flat clickable components, simple shapes, straightforward structuring of visual elements. It is trendy, it conveys a sense of professionalism, and people are used to it.

User-centric design. Put the needs of the user at the forefront. Make sure that developers can involve your audience in the user testing of the product — and it’s better to make this process continuous, so you wouldn’t have to fix too many things after the release. 

Appropriate color scheme. Choose a color scheme that is warm and soothing — this is the best strategy for medical websites as it can comfort people who are worried about their health issues. Ensure people can read text easily. The contrast ratio for text and background should be 4.5:1, 3:1 for headlines and graphic elements to background — 3:1; use this tool to check the contrast ratio.

High-quality visuals. Visual materials must be just as unique as your text, with the quality high enough for large screens and optimization for mobile access. Note: the size of photos may affect the loading time of your website.

Animations & interactive elements. Animation and interactive elements are fun. But do not go too far with them, as they can annoy users. Carefully research animation accessibility guidelines to avoid hurting users with flash or motion sensitivity — it’s vital for healthcare web resources. 

Mobile-first approach. More than half of traffic in 2021 comes to websites from mobile devices. Not being mobile-friendly can affect your website dramatically — search engines penalize websites that lack corresponding functionality.

Healthcare Website Development Components

Intuitive search and user-friendly website navigation

As mentioned before, these and other elements of website navigation are essential to keep user satisfaction high. For instance, smart suggestions, for the search bar (when a user starts typing what they’re looking for, and the algorithm completes their query for them — like when you google) improve UX & conversions.

Online appointment scheduling and video consultations

If you offer healthcare services, incorporate telemedicine functionality: video consultations, chats with physicians, etc. into your website. Scheduling appointments via the website should be possible as well — it’s one of the functions people want to see in a digital health service.

Online payments

Provide your clients with the possibility to make payments online — easily and securely. Credit and debit card payments are a must; you can also include Paypal because it’s really popular.

Useful (and downloadable) resources

Demonstrate the value you can bring by providing high-quality artciels, white papers, and other types of useful downloadable content. Write blog posts relevant to your audience segments: about managing their conditions, self-regulation, etc.

Detailed staff directory

If you’re creating a website for your provider organizations, design a staff directory that details the experience and areas of expertise of your doctors, nurses, and researchers.

Social media integration

Create social media pages for your facility and encourage users to share your content — often, people prefer contacting healthcare professionals and facilities via Facebook rather than via their website. Add social media buttons on your website.

Google Analytics integration

Google Analytics helps you better understand your audience. It provides statistics and reports for you to improve the performance of your website.

In-chat support and feedback form

Integrated chat and feedback forms are valuable communication channels. Feedback must be treasured as it helps to understand what is working and what requires change.

3D tour of a hospital

You can show your facilities with a 3D tour of your establishment — that way, your patients would be able to understand where they will be staying and that’ll help someone mitigate their anxiety. Also, 3D tours are cool (if done right.) Healthcare web development is a delicate process. Many aspects must be considered, such as ease of use for your clients, compliance with the law, and optimization for search engines. You can use nuances described in this article as your guiding principles or as a checklist to build a website that delivers results.

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