What happens when a patient arrives at your healthcare facility and there is no one to greet them? Do they get what they need, or do they wander around and ultimately leave, frustrated?
A visit to your website can have the same results if the user experience (UX) is not carefully cultivated. Patients or potential patients wander in, click around, and then leave, frustrated, without the information they came for. This is why periodic website UX audits are important.
UX Challenges for Health Systems
One of the biggest challenges for healthcare systems is the decentralized nature of the digital brand. For example, you may find:
- Your healthcare system includes multiple physical locations with different websites.
- Over time, different styles have been added to your website, giving an inconsistent brand experience.
- Search isn’t easy to use, and navigation isn’t intuitive.
- Broken links and error messages are common.
- Contact details are missing or hidden.
- Certain pages take longer than five seconds to load.
- Your website is not easy to view or navigate on a phone.
Your website may be the first introduction a person has to your health system brand. The user’s experience with your site – how it looks and functions – has everything to do with whether they will trust your brand for what they need or go to your competitor.
To understand what your website users want, the data you collect about your brand’s web presence may be difficult to interpret in a wholistically meaningful way. That’s where a UX audit comes in.
UX Audit Defined
Like any other type of audit, a UX audit evaluates your current assets to identify potential areas of improvement. A UX audit looks at how a user moves through your website to accomplish their goals. The audit can give you insight into how you can make the user’s experience better and thereby improve your website conversion rate.
A UX audit looks specifically at the framework and user flow of your website independent of the content. Let’s assume the content your users need is there – but can they find it? Do users know what action they need to take to get what they want (more information, an appointment, patient reviews), and how to accomplish it? A UX audit can look at some issues as simple as finding the “schedule an appointment” button and identify what is keeping your website users from following through on your call to action.
Steps to Completing a UX Audit
A UX audit may seem complicated, but it can be accomplished by following these four steps:
- Identify Your Goals: It’s important to be specific about what you are trying to achieve with your website. Is there an area of your healthcare system where you are trying to bring in new patients? Is there a new service you’d like to highlight? Is patient retention your top priority? Review your business goals and identify what you would like your website to do or to do better.
- Know Your Users: This can be a complex task because your website users are a combination of existing and potential patients across different demographics. The larger your healthcare system, the more variation you will find among your website users. You could use your goals to focus on one demographic at a time. For example, if you just added a new provider to your breast health team, you may want to focus on female patients who are facing a cancer diagnosis. Understanding what is important to them will help you design a successful user experience to bring in new patients to your breast health center.
- Analyze Trends: Review your website metrics to map out a typical website user’s journey through your site. Your marketing instincts might be to look at where users enter your site and attempt to drive more traffic to that page. But what is more important for a UX audit is to notice where users leave your site. Do they search for a provider and then schedule an appointment, or do they abandon the site after their search? Do they use the provider search feature or look for other information? How long do users stay on key pages of your website? Understanding how users use your website will point to areas that can be improved.
- Consider Improvements: The two biggest areas of potential improvement to your website are visuals and performance. Users are more likely to remain on your website longer and engage more if it has a consistent look, feel and brand voice across all pages. Is the design of every page consistent with your brand? Are the visuals engaging to your particular audience? Are they personal? Do they help tell the story of your brand?
Still struggling to make sense of your UX website audit? Contact LIGHTSTREAM for professional guidance on your healthcare website user experience. We can help you identify opportunities to improve that experience and put a plan together to execute the improvements in order to elevate your conversion rate.