In addition to “38 best nonprofit web signs of 2013” (which was great) I wanted to compare and contrast the sites of the two hospitals on which I am on staff; Bacon County Hospital (2012 revenue $43 million) and Mayo Clinic (system wide 2012 revenue $8.8 billion). Not for a David versus Goliath story or to criticize one or the other but to see if there are lessons that can be learned for free, especially if you don’t have a multi-million dollar budget for social media. The specs given in the design exploration instructions were helpful in this regard.
Here’s the home page for each:
1) Color palette: MC is softer and more uniform which makes it easier and more relaxing to look at. White background has a more professional look.
2) Fonts: MC has all caps for page routing which makes them stand out and seem more important. They are also larger than the less important nav tools at the top where BCH is one-size fits all.
3) Layout: BCH is busy,busy,busy. Too much on one page. As one navigates through MC there are just as many sub-pages as BCH but they are not all on the home page. Better to cluster them into groups.
4) Communication style: here I think it is important to know your target audience. People may expect a more formal style with a multinational organization but in a small community where everyone knows everyone else it would seem “uppity”. Here I think BCH has it right.
5) Key features: one of the things we have been hearing is to let users interact with the site and the more they can the more often they will come back. So bill-pay, book an appointment, pre-register for procedures or tests, find out results, find a doctor, get directions are all important and I think both do these well. There are two things where MC has an edge; one is their patient education section which is huge and the other is in functionality. For instance, both use a player for moving pictures but on BCH you need to click on it get it started, it stops after one loop and clicking on a picture doesn’t take you anywhere else- a bit boring. Finally, links for sharing are pretty well recognized and don’t need to be large to be seen (a la BCH).
Shifting gears, after looking at all the options for web design I chose to use Wix because it is free and, for me, more intuitive; just click, drag, cut, paste, etc. Here’s the link; comments and donations are appreciated.
Finally, on a personal note, since this is the last post of the course I want to tell everyone I’ve had a ball and appreciate all the feedback. Good luck on the final.