Web design is all about tradeoffs.
Yes, you want to create a site that is modern, unique, and pleasant to stare at. One that spurs action in visitors. But you also need to hit certain benchmarks for load times, accessibility, basic—and familiar—functionality, and so on.
This makes the web presence for healthcare companies, in particular, a big lift creatively. These companies are brands, but their websites need to speak to two separate—and occasionally at-odds—groups. There are the providers—the doctors and other healthcare professionals—and there are the payers—the insurance and networks.
Because of this, healthcare websites usually follow a familiar formula both in functionality and aesthetics. Take, for example, the website for healthtech company Stellar Health.
There is certainly nothing wrong with Stellar Health’s website. It is clean, functional, and easy to navigate. The colors and illustrations are inviting. The only thing that’s really missing is a true sense of what their brand stands for.
This is likely by design. People don’t visit a healthtech website to be dazzled by innovation. But there is an area between design and functionality that is ripe for exploring. An area where a brand is more than just a name in the top corner and a URL.
Sure, Stellar Health’s website makes clear what the company does. It follows good web design basics. The illustrations are fairly original. But unless you dig into it—unless you do more than quickly scan the headlines and body copy, which most people rarely do—there’s no real sense of what Stellar Health is really selling.
Again, there’s nothing wrong with the site. But in looking and feeling similar to nearly every company and startup in the healthtech space, Stellar Health is missing out on a big opportunity.
Branding is about a lot more than simply ensuring the colors and voice are on point. That’s the easy part. The bigger lift is infusing what the brand stands for throughout the design. Creating a web presence that hits that difficult trifecta of being clean, functional, and unique.
If I were tasked with reimagining stellar health’s website—or one of the many in their industry that have followed the same basic blueprint—the first order of business would be to go back to the beginning, back to the very thing that inspired the founders of stellar health to take the leap with their company in the first place.
I would focus on why before what. As in, why is Stellar Health a company, why does it exist, why is it different from others in the crowded healthtech space? Only then would we focus on what the company does.
Look, I get it. There are certain benchmarks every healthtech company needs to hit with its web presence. But those benchmarks should only be the start. You then need to push through and build a unique brand.
Stellar Health has a story to tell about itself, a raison d'être that makes it unique. Off-the-shelf web design may make building a site cost-effective, but it sacrifices the opportunity to broadcast what your brand is really about.
As a company, Stellar Health is much more than a name and a logo. They have a big opportunity to have a website that shows just how unique they are.
Want to learn more about branding and how to stand out in a crowded field? Check out our guide The secret to an accelerated branding process.
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