Importance of Website Design: an Interview with RM Creative Director
Having trouble finalizing the design for your practice’s new website? Wondering how to ensure your design captures your vision and appropriately represents you and your philosophy? Find the answers to these questions and many more below, as the Rosemont Review recently sat down with our Creative Director, Seth McKinney for a discussion on the importance of custom website design, and all that it entails.
Rosemont Review: What is the single most important element our clients should consider when working to create their logos and website design?
Seth McKinney: Think about the goal of the design, project, website, etc., and make sure the style, layout and message are focused towards that goal. Too often clients forget the main goal, which is usually gathering more/better leads and patients, and fill the pages with too much information because they want to touch on everything. But this only dilutes the potential of achieving that main goal.
RR: When do colors enter the process and how do you recommend clients choose colors for logos and sites?
SM: Clients with existing sites or marketing typically have a color scheme already established, and following suit is always a good idea for brand continuity.
New clients with very little existing materials can have trouble with colors. It’s best to choose a general palette rather than one specific color. Are they looking for something dark or light? Vibrant or soft? Then we can bring their color preferences in properly. Sometimes even a photograph can help, sending us a shot from the Pottery Barn catalog and saying “I really like the earth tones and subtle textures here” can help us more than “I like green, brown and tan.”
RR: How do clients typically decide on a font, what should they consider?
SM: There are so many fonts to choose from, it can be overwhelming, and preferably something a client shouldn’t have to worry about. The best result comes from a client who chooses a style rather than a specific font. Simply telling us “clean and modern” or “classic and prestigious” is enough to give an idea of the desired style, and then we can choose a proper font to complete that look.
RR: What are some common obstacles you run into during the design consultation phase?
SM: We see everything from information overload to clients that have very little input on what they would like to see in their design. Prior to our new website consult, our clients get a list of site examples to review, and we have the greatest success interpreting a clients vision when they review these sites and make some quick notes about what they like and don’t like. Often the dislikes help more than the likes. Try not to focus too much on tiny details. Liking a specific navigation layout from a site is a great comment, but asking that we copy the buttons and colors exactly isn’t going to allow our designers to create a truly custom design for their practice.
RR: How about a list of things clients should avoid and/or include?
- Adding too much clutter
- Requiring too many navigation options at the top level (better to streamline and consolidate)
- Requesting a design copy or close replica of another site (its great to look at other sites and pull ideas, but we take pride in making custom sites that are tailored to each client)
- Using poor quality photography of the practice & staff. (hiring a local professional photographer can make a huge difference)
- Requesting crazy features that aren’t necessary to attract more patients (keep it simple and remember the goal is to attract more/better patients)
- Good quality before and after photos (try to keep backgrounds and angles consistent)
- Messaging that makes their practice unique (we can polish the message, but having some bullets or a mission statement that we can build off is key)
- A great photo of yourself and staff (nice, current photography can help patients feel even more comfortable at their consult or 1st visit)
- Real testimonials paired with a patient photo
RR: Why is design important? Why not just throw something together themselves, patients will find them, right?
SM: Every part of the practice that is visible to potential patients makes an impact. You wouldn’t bring a patient planning on spending a fair amount of money on a cosmetic procedure to a sub-par office for their consult. The same applies for a website. It’s an extension of the office and shows the doctor cares about having a professional and beautiful representation online, while telling patients they can expect the same type of care and appreciation for them when they enter the office. In addition to aesthetics, our sites perform, a do-it-yourself site is going to fall short not only on design quality, but messaging, call to action, as well as optimization.
The same applies for a website. It’s an extension of the office and shows the doctor cares about having a professional and beautiful representation online, while telling a patient they can expect the same type of care and appreciation for them when they enter the office.
More Design Questions?
Still left wondering how to get started or get beyond that design roadblock? Visit our Facebook page and ask away. We’ll do our best to get to all of your questions so you can put your best virtual foot forward.