Finding the right tone of a dental website can be very difficult at times. The tone of a site is everything and it can be determined within the first 10 seconds of someone viewing the site. It is the first impression and it is not something to be taken lightly. As a medical professional you want to visually present yourself as professional and trustworthy while being warm and inviting for your clientele. Therein lies the delicate balance that you must find with picking graphics for your dental website.
First of all, let’s be honest, there aren’t a ton of people that are jumping at their chance to get to the dentist quickly. I believe everyone can think back to at least one traumatic experience they had in a dentist's chair, but everyone also realizes the importance of dental care and therefore go to the dentist. The key is to present your practice as the place to be and the one that does all it can to make the customer comfortable in the process.
How can we do this? Well, let’s start with colors...
Most dental practices tend to stick with blues and whites when picking their color palettes. Of course while this is totally okay and completely falls in line with the entire medical industry, blues and whites give the tone of being cold and rigid. The subconscious impression that this gives is not the best when it comes to comfort. Adding colors to the palette that give warmth like reds, oranges, and yellows will actually bring a calmness to the viewer. Research other dentist websites for dental website designs to discover what you love and don't love.
As someone that has been in the Web Design and Marketing industry for over 15 years, I have seen a lot of medical photography and especially in the world of stock photos. While using stock photography is not the end of the world nor is it poor practice, I have found that the imagery tends to be very cold. Therefore it requires the need spend extra time searching for the perfect stock shots or having a professional photographer visit your practice and get the shots needed. Either is totally fine. The end goal would be to find or take shots that show the staff in a professional light and the patients appearing to be comfortable. The colors in the shot should be vibrant and have warmer tones.
I feel like the right use of icons in a dental website are huge. Icons are typically illustrations and are the perfect place to add some further balance to a site. Definitely stay away from graphics that are rugged and grungy. As a field that prides itself on being clean and tidy using graphics that are grungy and distressed will give the wrong impression. Icons should be sharp and clean cut. Iconography is another piece of your website where you can utilize color in a big way so look for creative ways to bring in the colors that have that calming effect.
There are some dental practices that specialize in children, family, and the elderly. If this is the case for your practice then you completely want to take this into consideration for the overall graphical tone of everything. If your practice specializes in kids then look for a fun way to make it more childlike because it’s the kids that you are wanting to bring a sense of comfort to. Find a way in the content to present the professionalism to the parents. If it is a family based practice, look for a way to present a sense of community through the photos and icons.
These are only a few of the ways to bring a great balance of graphical elements to your dental website. If you leave this article with anything I hope you leave with a few ideas on how to create that proper balance and tone for your site. Most practices tend to keep things simply in a professional light, and while that is ok, they all seem to blend together and show very little personality. Designing a website should be a fun process that allows you think outside the Dental field box and bring character to your practice. Enjoy the process and dare to be different.
Learn more about how emotions play a huge role in your client's decision making!