What we learned that could help your practice, too
As you may have noticed, Rendia.com has a new look! When we decided our website was in need of a refresh, we knew we wanted to do more than just give it a superficial makeover. So we started by defining our goals:
- Make our website easier to use and outline how Rendia helps practices all through the patient’s care journey.
- Showcase our in-house artists and the award-winning visuals that differentiate us from our competitors.
Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at our site redesign process from ideation to launch and what we learned along the way. We’re sharing our process as a guide to help practices that are considering a website refresh or redesign.
In house or outsource?
The first choice we had to make was whether to keep our existing website framework and just spruce up the content, or do a complete overhaul. We chose to fully redesign our site, but if your practice website is just a little tired, you might consider simply updating the content to be more engaging and visually appealing. Adding Rendia videos is a great way to do this!
Then we had to decide whether to build our new website ourselves or outsource the project to a web design agency. We decided to go with an agency to free up in-house resources, get an outside perspective and fast-track the project. Medical practices may want to consider whether to go with a healthcare-focused agency or a more general web design agency or developer.
Before choosing an agency, we had to get aligned internally on our vision for the new website. One of our first exercises was to gather our stakeholders and ask them what sites they found inspiring and why. We got answers that varied from the NY Times to Etsy to Babylon Health, and it got us excited about the possibilities.
Don’t rely on your agency or website developer for design inspiration; have stakeholders share their favorite sites in an initial meeting
From there we wrote the site requirements based on our goals, along with our wish list for site functionality. Next, we met with creative agencies and ultimately chose Fifteen4. Bonus: they are a local Baltimore company, which we always love to support!
Content writing tips
Now that we had an agency partner, we could start writing content. After outlining the pages and navigation, we built mockups in Google Slides to get buy-in and collaborate on content. Google Slides is a great tool to consolidate feedback from multiple stakeholders, plus it is free and easy to use.
Our cardinal rule when writing content was to have you—our eye care and ENT audience—in mind. We balanced making content engaging, educational and easy to navigate. Of course visitors to your website want to know what you do, but mostly they want to know what you can do for them.
For a practice website, you want to put essential information front and center, such as what kinds of health issues your practice works with, whether you’re accepting new patients, what kind of insurance you accept, contact info and directions to your office.
Rather than having a “Patient Education” page or section, make that the focus of your entire site. Share videos of your primary services on your home page, and include information that targets specific members of your patient population. For instance, seniors will want to know if you accept Medicare, and working professionals may be interested in after-hours or telehealth appointments.
It’s also important to make your website content easy to skim. Eye-tracking studies show that people rarely read word-for-word online; they’re more likely to scan the page. Because of this, it’s a good idea to:
- Use shorter paragraphs.
- Break up the text with headings and subheadings.
- Include bulleted or numbered lists. (See what we did there?)
This is a great resource to help you write content for your practice website.
High-quality images are a must
For our website imagery and video, we did not have to look far: Rendia’s own in-house designers and illustrators create the world-class animations that our company is known—and named—for.
The name Rendia represents the moment of comprehension when a beautifully rendered visual transforms complex clinical information into meaningful and memorable insight. We wanted to make sure our website showcased our comprehensive suite of interactive patient engagement tools that promote shared decision making and improve health outcomes for patients.
We realize most medical practices do not have a creative team waiting in the wings. However, there are other ways to incorporate engaging visual content into your website—such as featuring Rendia videos and taking your own high-quality photos. A note about stock photography: if you do use it, make sure the images reflect your actual patient population. For more on this topic, read our blog post Website Basics: Getting the Imagery Right.
High-quality visual content is a must. If you don’t have your own in-house, world-class animation team, try our videos!
We already had a robust blog, so that was one area we did not need to build. We advise you not to take on a blog unless you can commit to publishing weekly and have resources to make your blog sing, such as Rendia videos to embed in your posts. To learn more, read Should Doctors Blog? Four Reasons to Say Yes.
Launch at last!
Rendia’s website launch took 14 weeks to complete and was truly a labor of love (with a few tears mixed in). We are happy with the results, and we hope you are, too. Here are my top takeaways when building a new website:
- Utilize free tools whenever possible (such as Google Workplace and Trello for project management).
- Lean on your internal team for inspiration.
- Write requirements before you hire help.
- Always have your end-user in mind.
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