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7 Key Design Elements for Modern Medical Association Websites

Healthcare professionals by nature are innovative individuals who are keen on continuing their learning throughout the course of their careers. Medical associations spend much of their time enabling learning and building a community for their current and prospective members.

Building a community for members is time-consuming, which means that sometimes associations do not have the resources to work on their website, that’s where we can help. Let’s uncover 7 design trends that are at the forefront of the digital landscape of healthcare associations.

These designs do the work and enable organizations to spend more time on community building and providing value to their members and less time worrying about how engaging or functional their site is.

1. Responsive Design

Arguably, one of the most important aspects of designing a modern website for medical associations is responsiveness. A website needs to be mobile-friendly and has to have the ability to scale and perform on any device.

Over half of the web browsing done world-wide happens on a mobile device. In the US, 80% of people own and browse with their smartphone and over 50% use their tablet to browse. It is critical for healthcare professionals to be able to access information and communicate internally on their device of choice. 

The American Medical Association has built its mobile-friendly website using Drupal. Providing the same design across devices gives users the same digital experience on whatever device they are viewing your site on.

American Medical Association website displayed on an iPhone screen to show mobile friendly design.

2. Engaging Design

Responsive design is critical, but without a design concept that is appealing, members will have a difficult time engaging with the site content. Creating a website that is visually engaging is the key to optimizing a website for the best user experience possible. How can you optimize the user experience with your design? Design features like hero banners, slideshows and custom icons make a big difference. 

OPIN partners with leading healthcare firms, engaging user-centric design played a key role in our work with Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.

Image of Holland Bloorview website on multiple apple devices.

3. Hero Banners

Hero banners play a big role in providing a great digital experience. These banners are the very first visual component that a member will see when they visit a site. Hero banners include bold visual aspects and eye-catching statements. The imagery used reflects the association’s mission, people and events.  

A user-centric approach to design means that hero banners can leverage calls to action for a guided user journey, ensuring a positive experience. The American College of Emergency Physicians uses a unique hero banner that includes five different CTAs offering resources to their members and visitors. The use of this hero banner is effective in encouraging users to click through and explore the site, without overwhelming them with information.

American College of Physicians hero banner presented on iMac screen.

4. Slideshows

Slideshows are another visual aspect that adds to the member experience. Information items are cycled in sequential order, often slideshows are used in conjunction with a hero banner to highlight a variety of key topics. Slideshows are an opportunity to add a storytelling element for branded narratives and tailored calls to action. 

The Medical Society of Virginia's website is a great example of using a slideshow to tell their organization’s story. Their home page features a hero banner with a slideshow, presenting a variety of key information. The content is meant to connect with different audiences so that each visitor will find information that is valuable to them.

Image of MSV website slideshow hero banner on iMac screen.

5. Easy Navigation Menu

Anyone who has browsed through the internet has seen a website with a distracting homepage that has too much content, that is not organized in a way that streamlines a user’s visit while on the site.

Many professional associations can be guilty of this, not only does it make a site difficult to use, but its also overwhelming for users and can be an impediment in a successful website visit. A modern association website will have a site navigation bar that makes it simple for members and the public to locate information and engage with content.  

How can a website be designed so that the menu is trimmed down to only the necessary elements while including information for all stakeholders? The trick is to focus on user experience. Forget about dumping all existing information, instead, use the menu as an opportunity to be creative and encourage users to explore the website.

Finding the right information on the first try is fundamental to the member experience. The Canadian Public Health Association demonstrates a navigation menu that is simple, designed to meet the needs of all users.

6. Member Portals

Intranet portals empower an association’s members by creating a secure network that enables communication and collaboration. Portals put members in control, with a secure login they are able to manage their membership as well as event and course registrations, and streamline necessary medical assessments and credentialing.

Portals allow members to stay up-to-date on the latest research and career advancement opportunities. The ability to digitally access and share exam results, along with personal credentials that are stored in the organization’s central repository.

The United Nurses Association of California has a member portal that allows members to have secure assess and separates the resources and content that are available to the public from the content that is confidential.

Members want their experience to be easy. Having the ability to find all of their personal information related to the association they are apart of and having the benefit of being able to pay their annual fees and view receipts in place cannot be overlooked when designing a modern website for an association.

With a member portal, you can provide the web feature that is most vital to member’s overall digital experience.

7. Clear Calls to Action (CTA's)

Great healthcare websites segment their user journeys, especially between new and returning members.  A clear distinction and value proposition for each segment helps ensure that when a user lands, they know where they need to go next.

Clear CTAs go a long way in creating a good user experience, taking the size and placement into account and designing CTAs with colour contrast and compelling text, users are will be encouraged to click because it eliminates the guesswork.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology shows how they use clear CTAs to guide their users through their visit. Making their member’s experiences seamless and easy.

Looking For More Info?

Users are people, and this mentality should define every design element in the digital experience of healthcare associations. The examples in this article are a few key industry designs that will improve the digital experience that members have with an association. 

OPIN partners with the leading healthcare firms and associations, helping them break through the noise and create industry-leading designs. OPIN’s data-driven and user experience approach to design has played a key role in all of our work. 

To learn more about how your digital landscape can be transformed, contact OPIN Digital. If your organization has already implemented these design aspects, our team would love to chat about how to take your design even further. 

Thanks for reading!

Ryan Pelicos

Marketing Coordinator

Ryan is a passionate storyteller who thrives on challenging the status quo. He is an avid researcher with a keen analytical mind able to strategize on technology, sales and marketing decisions by analyzing data and behaviours across various industries and technologies.


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