After months of preparation, St. Bernard Hospital welcomed a new baby this week. You won’t find this bundle of joy in the hospital’s maternity ward, though – you’ll have to go online.
We’ve spent the last several months working with St. Bernard to create an updated website for the organization, and we launched the new site Monday. St. Bernard, which is the only hospital in Chicago’s Englewood community and is nationally recognized for its medical care, had a unique list of website needs.
The hospital’s old website featured a lot of information and a complex design, and St. Bernard wanted a streamlined site that visitors could navigate easily. St. Bernard also wanted to make the site more interactive for patients while showcasing the hospital’s strengths for vendors, physicians and donors.
Many hours of copywriting, editing, graphic design and Web coding later, we and St. Bernard are thrilled with the final results. Here are some of the site’s highlights:
Clean design — We created a design for the site that features a lot of open space and incorporates the colors in St. Bernard’s logo to reinforce the hospital’s brand. A simple navigation system and easy-to-read navigation buttons allow visitors to find what they need quickly, and the clean layout is visually appealing.
Simple yet sophisticated writing — We knew St. Bernard’s website visitors would be a diverse group, so the site’s content had to be simple to understand, but not dumbed down. We used concise sentences and addressed patients directly in some sections to get the message across, but still included appropriate medical terminology throughout the site.
Interactive features — Whether visitors want to request an appointment, apply for a job, pay a hospital bill or visit a patient, a menu on the home page directs them to just the right spot. We also included calls to action throughout the site, such as encouraging visitors reading about medical services to view a list of doctors in that specialty, to keep site users engaged.
Culturally appropriate material — St. Bernard is in a predominantly black community, and the website reflects that demographic. We used photos of St. Bernard’s patients and staff wherever possible so it would feel authentic to site visitors.
Content management system — St. Bernard’s website features a content management system, which allows St. Bernard to update the site. While we’re always there to help, having this system puts St. Bernard in the driver’s seat – if the hospital wants to add a news item over the weekend or late at night, it can take care of it on its own. Before handing the reins over, we will hold a training session for St. Bernard on the content management system’s ins and outs.
Social media — We set up a Vimeo channel for St. Bernard that links to its website so visitors can see the hospital’s videos, including a local NBC news clip that features St. Bernard. As part of our training session for St. Bernard, we will teach the hospital how to add content to its Vimeo account.
Does all this talk of websites make you wish you were expecting your own special delivery? Let us know what you’d include on your dream website in the comments below.