A look back at hospital marketing trends: Web user experience

2016 hospital marketing trends wrap-report

Note: This is part of a series of blog posts related to our 2016 Hospital Marketing Trends White Paper. We will review and discuss one trend a week, providing feedback about what happened in 2016 and what’s to expect in 2017. If you’re interested in finding out more, then download our 2017 Hospital Marketing Trends white paper today. 

Due to significant changes in government and our current political climate, the future of healthcare is more uncertain than ever before. Although we can’t predict what’s in store for next year, when you’re informed about the past, planning for the future is easier.

We recently challenged our agency to review our 2016 Hospital Marketing Trends white paper and report about what stayed the same and what changed for the future.

Here’s what we came up with:

What we said:

In 2016, there’s no excuse for a cluttered or non-mobile-friendly website. Healthcare consumers want websites that are responsive, clean and easily navigable. They want to find a new primary care doctor, schedule an appointment, and look up directions on their smartphone all while blending a breakfast smoothie in their kitchen. If your hospital can’t deliver this experience, a competitor will. Hospitals can take it a step further with a dedicated app that allows patients to schedule appointments, communicate with physicians and request prescription refills.

What happened:

The adoption of responsive websites was tremendous in 2016, due to a Google issued algorithm change that penalized “non-mobile ready” sites. One of the side effects of responsive designs, however, is that due to the constraints of responsiveness and how we navigate on mobile (the “swiping effect”), more and more websites are starting to look alike. We see the same design patterns emerging because they work effectively on multiple devices. There’s little UI innovation left. Additionally, the availability of website builders, such as WIX and SquareSpace, has led to cookie-cutter templates. To stand out, hospitals need to have a strong visual brand that overshadows the “template look.” Start with a solid brand identity and include ownable color palette, typefaces, graphics, photographic style and a unique voice. We suggest that hospital and health systems create their own content, videos, blogs and compelling landing pages. The more original your content appears, the more engaged a consumer will be. 

Sara Tack