Keep it simple, but not plain

Friday, July 31, 2009

Q. I want my Web site to look nice and professional. What makes a good design for HME?

A. A great Web site design for HME should draw a visitor in and make a warm first impression. Think of your homepage as the front door to your business. Is it professional, clean, warm and welcoming? Is the page easy to navigate and can visitors find the answers they need easily? Your company logo and colors, menu bar, contact information and the text describing your business are all vital. You may wish to show pictures of your store, staff members, products and clientele.

To have a good design, you need to know your audience. Most of your viewers are female and over the age of 40, either looking for products for themselves or loved ones. It is important to have an inviting design that depicts you as a trustworthy source. Use your company colors but incorporate a palette of softer pleasing colors. Use images of happy, active individuals using the equipment you provide. For easy viewing, all text, menu buttons and graphics should be in large and legible fonts.

What sets you apart from your competition? Is it your friendly and knowledgeable staff, the number of years you have been in business or having the latest home medical equipment? Make that the focus of your Web site.

Keep it simple, but not plain. Make it easy for customers to contact you by showing phone and fax numbers and addresses in a prominent spot, preferably next to your logo. Do you want them to purchase or request information about a piece of equipment? Have a graphic that directs them to your online catalog or store. Show the customer that you are an expert on HME by creating a patient resource center where customers can share information with loved ones.

A tired Web site means a tired business, so your site should be constantly evolving. Review the design elements every couple of months to keep it fresh and current.

Following these tips will ensure that your online customers will be your customers for years to come. hme

Laura Hand is the creative director/senior Web designer at VGM Forbin. Reach her at 319-274-4456 or