Web forms can serve many essential functions in healthcare, from patient data intake to medical record requests and contact forms. They’re a necessary element of a website and digital data collection process. But all too often, these forms don’t get the attention they deserve.
Poorly designed healthcare forms don’t just make an organization look outdated. It can leave patients suspicious of how secure and confidential they will be, too. It isn’t easy to provide sensitive medical or personal data through an online form, especially if it feels untrustworthy.
Overall, bad healthcare form design can make an organization miss out on a chance to have a great interaction with users and securely collect the data they need. If you suspect your healthcare web forms could use a design touch-up, try out the following tips.
1. Be strategic about color
Forms don’t have to be black and white. Certain colors like blue can invoke feelings of trustworthiness, while others like red can create urgency or even fear. It’s no surprise that some of the most popular healthcare organizations like Blue Cross Blue Shield and Humana use calming, trustworthy colors in their branding.
For healthcare forms, being strategic about the colors you choose can influence how your respondents feel. And the more comfortable they feel filling out your form, the more likely they will be to provide you with the right information.
Start by complementing the colors used in your organization’s branding. This will help respondents get a sense of familiarity with your form. Next, make sure the background, textbox, and text colors contrast to ensure people with visual impairments can still complete your form. Finally, be sure to save pops of color for the most important elements, such as error messages or the CTA button.
2. Keep fonts consistent
Font choice is an equally important part of designing engaging healthcare forms. Just like colors, there is a psychology to fonts. Typology has the power to impact readability, user engagement, and even conversion rates.
Keep in mind that your healthcare form respondents may have varying ages and vision limitations. The fonts on your forms should stay consistent with the overall branding of your organization. But if the main font is more difficult to read, opt for a simpler complementary font to use for your form’s content. Along with a readable font, be sure to include accessible text sizing of at least 16 pixels.
It may be tempting to add a fun font to your online forms. But several studies show that the simpler the form, the higher the submissions—and this includes design, too. With legible fonts and sizing, you can better ensure respondents are able to clearly understand what information they need to provide.
3. Build trust with your words
It’s easy to overlook the copy on your healthcare web forms. However, the words you choose can impact the experience your respondents have. When people search for healthcare services, it’s likely they are concerned about a presumed or diagnosed medical condition.
The words on your online forms should reflect the guidance they’re seeking. Instead of using impersonal default text, provide clear and helpful messaging throughout the form. This could mean providing context at the beginning of the form, such as what security measures your organization takes with medical data or when respondents can expect a response.
Helpful messaging also means you’re providing clear instructions when a respondent makes a mistake on the form. To avoid confusion, error messaging should always make it obvious where the error occurred and how to fix it. It’s also a best practice to use labels with text fields instead of placeholder text to avoid usability issues.
4. Stick to a simple layout
How you format your healthcare forms has the potential to make or break a respondent’s experience. The goal of every web form is to encourage people to complete and submit their information as easily and quickly as possible. If poor formatting hinders this process, you may be left with low submission rates or no submissions at all.
User experience tests show that forms with a single-column layout perform better than forms with a multi-column layout. This is because single-column forms are much easier to complete, resulting in fewer skipped form fields or incorrect data input. Unless there is a logical reason to have two fields on the same row (such as city and state), design your forms with a separate row for each field.
Within your single-column layout, group text fields logically from easiest to most difficult. To ensure respondents know the correct formatting, add placeholder text to explain input requirements, such as for a phone number. The more intuitive you can make your healthcare form layout, the more likely a respondent will provide accurate, complete information.
Keep building your design skills
Are you looking for more tips for improving the user-friendliness and overall appearance of your healthcare forms? We’ve compiled all our design best practices in our eBook, 4 Steps to Better Web Forms. Download the eBook today!