MEDtrip.com is a site that specializes in Medical Tourism, or providing patients with access to healthcare services all over the globe. People may be interested in traveling outside their home markets to receive healthcare for a variety of reasons. They may be motivated by cost, or accessibility, or expertise, or privacy, a desire to visit a certain location, or any other number of reasons.
The challenge for MEDtrip is creating a highly usable, user friendly site that creates confidence and trust, while also acknowledging that many patients travel for pleasure as well- the tourism side of medical tourism. Since a user is contacting a facility about medical treatments, they must feel comfortable that the information they submit will be handled professionally. Additionally, creating a site that would be able to fulfill the business needs of MEDtrip, while still maintaining a level of professionalism and gravity was important. And finally, since medical tourism is growing fastest in non-english speaking parts of the world, particularly Arabic speaking, we needed to figure out a solution that would allow these users to access the site.
- Home Page: As the primary landing point for the majority of MEDtrip’s users, the homepage needed to identify the overall feeling for the site. We knew right away that we wanted to stay away from anything too sterile or medical feeling, as most people who travel for healthcare are doing so for an elective procedure. Additionally, many medical travelers are traveling not only for healthcare, but to bundle in a vacation or adventure, so highlighting the tourism side of the industry became the driving force behind the header image on the site. This initial focus on the tourism side is then balanced out further down the page with focuses on the different types of common specialties and treatments. Just above the fold the text ‘Search Clinics by Popular Treatments’ is visible, informing users that they can scroll and find a list of treatments that may fit their needs, without needing to use the search bar.
- Search: One of the most important aspects of the site is the search, and balancing the need for granularity and ease of use. After experimenting with expanding the search into a series of narrowing fields that helped guide the user to the result they needed, we discovered that providing predictive text fields, and limiting the search parameters to only treatment and destination gives users the best possible experience, while still providing the granularity needed to be useful. This search function is carried through into the results pages, where users are able to make use of that granularity in the system to drill down from their current results to see a more refined list of facilities.
- Results Pages: MEDtrip’s results pages are a key part in the journey for a user, providing a list of all the potential facilities that meet their current search criteria. Destinations start with a large cover photo, enhancing the tourism appeal of a location if that is the focus of a user. Results pages are also key from a business perspective. By allowing facilities to become featured clinics, those facilities increase the traffic and conversions that they receive to their site. Making clear, attractive looking results is key in creating confidence and driving conversion. Space on the results listing is at a premium, so selecting which items would make the cut was a critical one. Including a large photo showcasing the facility helps to increase interest and build trust and confidence at a glance and a brief description of the facility helps users quickly know if the facility is a potential fit. The major decision came down to including either facility certifications or patient testimonials. After surveying patients and facility representatives, we went with including patient testimonials where available. This option provided the greatest increase in confidence and likelihood to click-through to a profile page.
- Profile Pages: Profile pages are the meat of the MEDtrip site. It is where prospective patients end up before making a decision to submit an inquiry to a facility. Users need to be able to easily find the information they’re looking for, understand that the facility can serve their needs, and feel comfortable submitting an inquiry. We knew that in order to make a patient feel comfortable, photos were going to be a key part of the profile pages. Providing patients with a large image prominently placed begins to give them an idea of the type of facility, and its inherent quality, immediately, and emotionally. Since comfort and confidence are so often emotional, as opposed to logical responses, it’s important to try and make a first impression that will encourage the user to continue to engage with the profile and convert into a lead for the facility. In order to encourage conversion, an ‘Inquire Now’ button is always visible on screen, and the inquiry form is structured to get users to quickly give the information valuable to a facility, in a stepped process to keep from overwhelming the user. And by placing the contact information near the beginning of the inquiry, we are able to capture the information from the user, even if they abandon the inquiry before fully completing it. This provides MEDtrip with the opportunity to re-engage and attempt to convert that user at a later time.
- Foreign Language Portal: A feature that we are still finalizing and haven’t even launched fully yet, the foreign language portal is a key component in MEDtrip’s growth plans, and presented a unique challenge. Since a huge growth market for Medical Tourism is Arab countries, having an arabic language portal is a huge market advantage. However, arabic is written from right to left, requiring a complete reworking, from a design perspective, of all the elements of the site. All forms and elements had to be mirrored and then re-assessed for usability and functionality. Additionally, an entire backend system had to be built to manage the same content in multiple languages, ensuring that the correct languages appeared in the correct places. This system also allows independent rankings of facilities and features from every other language site, essentially creating stand-alone versions of the site that can be operated as their own business entities.
- Content Hub: We knew early on that a key to conversion was confidence and comfort with not just a specific facility, but with the idea of Medical Tourism overall. It can be a scary prospect to be told you’ll need to fly to a foreign country where you don’t speak the language to receive a complicated treatment from a doctor you’ve never met. We knew that we would need to create a centralized location where we could curate content about Medical Tourism in general, how and why, and about the locations that are major players in the industry. As with all other areas of the site, big, clear photos are key to engage users, and begin building comfort with the idea of medical tourism, and the destinations users may be traveling to.