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It's Time to Update Your Healthcare Design

May 31, 2022
min read
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Healthcare design has changed drastically over the years. From sterile waiting room pamphlets to colorful campaigns helping children in need. From pharmaceutical ads in old magazines to vibrant commercials complete with animations and actors.

The purpose of healthcare marketing is very different from, say, retail and tech. Where eCommerce brands aim to capture consumers and drive them to purchase, healthcare marketing informs and drives awareness. 

Healthcare marketing is a delicate tightrope; people don’t want to see ads ‘selling’ medications or services. Where people want to be engaged and drawn to your service, they don’t want to click on an ad that feels gaudy or not ‘serious’ enough. Yet, if your design is too sterile and formal, people lose interest and pick your more colorful competitor. 

How can healthcare companies market themselves effectively? You’re in the right place. Here are 5 healthcare design tips to live by.

But first, a history lesson.

Before the 70s, healthcare marketing wasn’t really a topic of conversation, especially healthcare design. Sure, you had the occasional magazine ad, or a billboard next to I-95, but it was nowhere near as evolved as it is today. Back then, they never really had to think about color palettes, fonts, or image placement. There was no such thing as digital, there was no such thing as the internet.

In 2022, healthcare is an on-demand service. Especially after 2020, when virtual healthcare became a must-have. The evolution of wearable technologies, mobile apps that help people manage their ailments, and more digital interactions than ever have completely changed the healthcare landscape.

With evolving population expectations, healthcare needs great design

It might be pretty, but is it good for your patient experience?

The evolution of digital in healthcare means that there’s a need for better web and mobile app design. These are the two places that your patients and users will touch first. They are the digital face of your company. 

Healthcare design needs to be accessible to all. People of all ages and walks of life are going to interact with your hospital or service, so your web design and mobile app experience needs to reflect that by having a friendly UI and UX. 

As tempting as it is to try and build that website and mobile app yourself by tapping into the freelance marketplace or going with an expensive creative agency, it’s best to leave designing your healthcare website to the experts who actually specialize in just that. 

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New generations mean new design.

Millennials, GenZ, Gen Alpha. The kids are all grown up and they’re your new audience. Talk to them, don’t make them flip the page or change the channel because your design is too sterile, outdated, or not inclusive enough.

For example, let’s say that you’re a wearables company that specializes in technology for diabetics. Sure, your audience still includes baby boomers and GenX, but there’s a growing population of younger diabetics

The competition in your industry is rife, angling for the same exact market as you. Historically, your design strategies have been kind of flat and the images that you used weren’t necessarily inclusive. 

By changing your color palette to something a little brighter, creating a gamified patient experience through your mobile app, and utilizing social channels for your marketing, you are able to tap into that younger demographic and get a leg up on the competition.

Ask yourself: Do you know your audience?

 Is it time for a brand refresh?

When was the last time your company updated its color palette or replaced those stock images on your website with custom spreads?

When was the last time you updated the tone and voice of your brand? Have you ever thought about the impact that words can have?

If you answered “Not since I’ve been here,” and you joined the company a decade ago, then it’s time for a healthcare branding refresh. Your company might be fifty years old, but updating your website design and color palette may be the subtle facelift you need to stay relevant in the digital age.

Words matter.

Healthcare design strategies don’t end at visuals. Copywriting is a huge part of keeping your healthcare brand relevant in a rapidly changing world. 

Just like any other brand, healthcare companies need a strong voice and tone so that they can stand out in over-saturated markets. 

Updating your tone doesn’t mean sounding informal or overly casual, it just means steering away from the preachy content of yore, and embracing a more conversational tone that your patients and customers will respond best to.

Leave it to the experts.

Outsourcing design work in healthcare may be cheaper, but you’re missing out on the insights that a trusted partner with expertise in the space can give you. That creative agency might have done that glitzy Super Bowl ad, but do they understand healthcare marketing?

Healthcare design is a delicate balance between engagement and understanding. Different populations are going to respond to different things. Hospital design is going to be very different from healthcare technology design, and creating that new email campaign for a small clinic compared to a large payer will determine how you look and sound. 

Take us out for a test drive and see what a true healthcare design partner can help you accomplish. 

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About the author:
Kat Calejo
Senior content writer- Designity
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