In a recent Pew Internet Project survey, as much as eight out of ten internet users reported that they looked for health information online. Health information search is the third most popular online pursuit with just email and search engine use ranking above it. Running tandem to this is the changing way people access the internet and said information. Just last year, Google confirmed that more of its users search via mobile devices than on computers.
The takeaway here for healthcare professionals is that web design needs to adjust to reflect this significant population of mobile internet users. Creating and leveraging responsive web design is the key to doing so.
Defining Response Design
Responsive web design is a web development approach aimed at creating effective design for the great range of devices available to consumers. This means designing for the dynamic changes in how a website appears depending on the screen size and orientation of the customer’s device.
This works through the utilization of specific codes that create design templates optimized for various device screen sizes, whether they’re the most constrained of mobile screens or the most oversized of desktop monitors. This smart code automatically identifies the user’s screen size to re-adjust and deliver the content and presentation fed into the given design template.
The Benefits of Implementing Responsive Web Design
- Efficient and effective load times. Websites utilizing responsive web designing techniques will be capable of loading mobile-optimized versions of the organization’s content and images significantly faster for mobile users. This is important due to large variance in connection speed and signal quality for mobile users and their expectation for immediate access. Websites that are unable to properly load onto a mobile device or have unnecessary lag time will result in exasperated users who will click out and turn to a competitor.
- Content prioritization. In the design of any website, understanding what content is important and how it can be most effectively displayed is key to engaging users. This goes doubly true for mobile users who have a much smaller screen and thus need only the highlights. Mobile users tend to search for exact topics or for answers on specific information, which is a primary reason behind the key feature of responsive web design utilizing set templates. These templates can be used to prioritize content that has been found to be most relevant for mobile users seeking out your healthcare organization. For example, a pharmaceutical company might want to highlight safety information whereas a specialized patient support team might want to highlight their services.
- Enhanced user experience. Creating the best user experience should be the goal of every website, and in truth should be the goal of every company. Responsive web design seeks to streamline the user’s experience by tailoring content to fit their design. After all, people are already frequently confused by the language and depth inherent to the healthcare information. Providing the user with a pleasant web experience, with pertinent information in a concise web layout, is huge.