3 Ways The Health Industry Can Enter 2016 through Design

Healthcare and digital health are notorious for being behind the curve in adopting modern day technology and design trends.  Years go by, design trends change, technology and communication tools advance and develop, and all the while, major medical institutions are still using up their free AOL Hours CDs.


Great user experience and design are paramount in gaining a user’s trust, especially when you are asking for sensitive or personal health information. Most companies know they have a problem, but they don’t know how to fix it, so let’s go through some 2016 design trends that can take healthcare from Helvetica to Helvetica Neue!

Your stock photos are scaring me…

“Seriously. Why is everyone so happy all the time? Have you ever seen that many smiles in a hospital? Why are those doctors high fiving?” – Said all patients ever

Bad stock photos can not only be a red flag for users, but they can be downright offensive. Would you trust this guy with your health information?

This is a real photo used on a real healthcare site.

Stock photos of overly enthusiastic doctors and model patients staring deep into the user’s soul will consistently bring your bounce rate up and show a lack of depth of knowledge about your users.

Solution #1

Avoid the major stock photo companies like Shuttershock and Getty Images. Try some of the lesser known websites such as Death to Stock Photo or Unsplash.

Solution #2

Oscar Health is knocking it out of the park with their characters. Yes, this takes considerably more effort, but it pays dividends in brand development and in user experience. For a shortcut try browsing sites like The Noun Project or other icon sites to grab some pre-made characters and icons.

Contrast is King (for CTAs)

Creating a visually strong call to action is something all sites should be able to do. The best advice I can give is very simple: have your CTA call and button contrast its background.

How not to do it:




How it should be done:





Still lost? Let’s dig a bit deeper into why I chose these examples.

Example #1a is one of the most well known websites in clinical research, with one of the worst designs. It would take too long to list all of the things that detract from their CTA, so I’ll focus on the CTA itself. Having used this site literally hundred of times myself, I know where to click, but they don’t make it easy for you. Their search function is almost an afterthought for the cluster of links, headers, sections, and graphs on the page. But hey – everyone loves a pie graph, right?

If you look at bad example #1b, the first thing your eye is drawn to is a stock photo of a woman staring at you, not the CTA button. If you asked yourself “what CTA button?” then you’re not alone. Their decision to put a blue button on a blue background may have felt good from a design perspective but not when it comes to home page conversions.

On the other end of the spectrum – Tile and Mailchimp know how to convert. Their CTA buttons are the only blocks of color on the site; contrasting the background, they cannot be ignored. No scary stock photos or walls of text here – if you are on a mission to subscribe or buy, there is very little preventing you from doing so.

Head First Onboarding:

The average human can read 200 words per minute and most user spends 15 seconds or less on a site. That means at most you have 50 words (probably less if your stock photo is staring deep into their soul) to get a user to begin converting and investing more time in your site.

Enter: Head First Onboarding.

The way to accomplish this UX best practice is to get the user to act on a low friction request right out of the gate to begin the process of personal investment. For each request or task that a user completes, their likelihood of completing the next task increases incrementally. So by that logic, it would make sense to have the high friction tasks last. Here’s an example:



At Leapcure we practice head first onboarding because it is especially important when people are reporting personal, private health information. As a result, we’ve seen our funnel completion increase, our bounce rate decrease, and an overall higher satisfaction rate amongst our patients and researchers.

There are a lot of theories that exist about how to onboard new users and optimize web experience, and to be honest, most of them are exactly that – theories. However, there a few concrete, tried-and-true steps that you can take to help guide your users in their journey.

We work in a space where what we do and the services we provide could truly help people. Why is it that we can’t employ the same engagement and retention tactics that companies use to sell shoes? It’s time for digital health to catch up and it starts with user experience.

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