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Northshore Healthcare

UX Design | UX Strategy | Website Development

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North Shore Healthcare has over seventy facilities that offer long-term skilled nursing care, short-term rehabilitation, and assisted living services. They are the largest provider of post-acute care in the Upper Midwest.

The Situation

North Shore Healthcare came to Northwoods looking for an accessible website with a contemporary design. They had a lot of custom photography and needed more ways to highlight the images through the site. Each of the 70+ centers had their own dedicated website and North Shore Healthcare was planning on adding more facilities to their roster overtime. North Shore Healthcare was looking to provide users with general information about their core values and mission while also maintaining a focus on the local communities of each facility.

The Solution

Northwoods consolidated all the facility websites into one and added a location search for users to quickly identify which centers were closest to them. The location search allowed users to search by zip code or address and included an interactive map to help the more visual user identify the location of each center. 

Each center had its own dedicated page to present additional information on their services and custom imagery to help validate the quality of care per location. Having all the locations together demonstrates how expansive North Shore Healthcare is, and having pages dedicated to each facility allows users to get a stronger feel for the local community and culture of each location.

Homepage Design

The homepage mixes large, custom photos with blocks of bright colors to match the energy of North Shore Healthcare’s culture. The page layout is simple and organized to easily funnel users to the proper content. Northwoods also used large heading sizes and minimal text to help users quickly scan content. The color combinations are approved for accessibility, meaning that users with color blindness or impaired vision can read and navigate the site with or without assistive devices. 

hand-drawn bird, chirping

Taking more than seventy sites and expertly consolidating them into one not only improved the user experience for our website visitors, but having a single site is now much easier for our internal team to maintain. Northwoods’ extensive research taught us a lot about our visitors and their goals for visiting us online. Their approach to digital strategy and their ability to effectively execute it on our platform of choice has been a game changer for us.

- Kristin Mueller, Sr. Director of  Communications, North Shore Healthcare 

Location Search

  • The location map uses a toned-down color palette to help the location markers better stand out for users who prefer to get a visual view of facility locations. 
  • Users can zoom in or out of the map and filter the results down by address. The cards listed below results provide contact information and a link to directions, so the user doesn’t have to click through to the detail page to get the information they need. 

If the user has additional questions or wants to learn more about a facility before scheduling a tour, they can do so via the facility’s detail page, which also provide specific information about each location, including awards, services, reviews, images and stories. These pages all share the same layout and are easily managed using data that can be exported and imported as spreadsheets. 

The Design

The beauty of the website’s page layout is its simplicity, which helps the large volume of imagery feel less overwhelming. 

A grid structure is used to provide site administrators flexibility to adapt individual page layouts for pages with a lot of content versus limited content. In addition to providing a good user experience, flexible page layouts help to make the website easier to maintain over time. 

Imagery, colors, and whitespace are also used to help group the content clearly, making it more scannable for users. Information is clearly structured with prominent calls to action clearly identified on each page to keep users moving through the site. 

The site also features many interactive components, such as videos, sliding testimonials, and photo galleries to keep users more engaged. The design was created with accessibility in mind, which involves much more than just making sure color contrast requirements are being met. It also includes strong hover effects involving more than a simple color change, ensuring interactive elements are easy to identify, adding clear labels and instructions to forms, using transcripts to accompany videos, following proper heading structure, and more  to ensure that the site and its content are accessible to people with various disabilities. 

The Outcome

Downsizing from 71 different domains into one domain saved North Shore Healthcare a significant amount of money. Money saved will now be redirected to other marketing efforts.

Northwoods continues to provide monthly updates to North Shore Healthcare’s WordPress core and plugins to maintain the website and to protect it from security vulnerabilities.

More importantly, Northshore Healthcare now has an accessible website designed to meet the needs of all users.

The North Shore Healthcare website won a Health Care Standard of Excellence award in the 2021 Web Awards, recognizing its ease of use and accessible, user-friendly design. 

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