Your website is the front door for a patient.

Does being a plastic surgeon make good web design more important to your success? How important is a well designed website to the success of your practice? How many of you think good design gives you a return on your investment? How many think it doesn’t matter?

I love working with plastic surgeons. You see, I love beauty and great design. I was raised by a mother who is a fine portrait artist, a very good one at that — and a father who is a recognized design engineer. My degree is actually in studio art, so a love for beauty and great design is truly in my blood.

Let’s start by listing a few big name companies — I want you to notice the first thing that comes to your mind.  Ritz-Carlton. Apple. Target.

What did you see? What value did you give it? Did the image in your mind match the profile of the person purchasing it?

So design and consumer profile go hand in hand. Since 92% of all plastic surgery patients are women, does it makes sense to find out what women need to see and experience on your website in order to motivate them to call your practice?

In a recent study by ASPS, women want to feel good rapport: feel comfortable sharing their concerns, and feel listened to when choosing their surgeon. Other deciding factors include skill, experience, and recommendations by others. 75% stated that improving their physical appearance was the primary reason, and 25% reported advancing their career and economic benefits as a primary reason.

Research also shows that, women generally like beautiful things and make decisions based on relationships more than men do. Therefore, a good web design for a plastic surgeon would include images that reflect improved self confidence and professional success. It would also present a physician that reflects an ability to connect with, and listen to patient cares and beauty goals. One that’s trustworthy, credentialed and experienced.

Here are some facts on design, usability, and return on investment:

  1. “Good navigation [usability] and website design make it easier for users to find what they’re looking for and to buy it once they’ve found it.”  (Donahue, 2001)
  2. According to the white paper, Return on Investment for Usable User-Interface Design, 2/02 — “Because there are so many poorly designed websites, when customers find one that “works” [usability], they tend to do repeat business and gain trust in the organization.”
  3. “A bad design can cost a website 40 percent of repeat traffic. A good design can keep them coming back.” (Kalin,1999)
  4. The Value of Design Factfinder report, 2007, says that “Businesses that see design as integral don’t need to compete on price as much as others.”

So here’s the equation…
design + usability + rapport = a call to your practice

Ask any Frank Lloyd Wright fan, the attraction of beauty and great design is a human mystery but very real.

I’m aware that about 85% of plastic surgeons are men, but even so, have you ever made a decision based on how something looks? The way you feel about something when you interact with it? Do you spend more time looking at things that are beautiful and well designed? Do you think they have more value?

Too many times I see a surgeon’s web design that doesn’t match their ability. The disconnection between their website and their ability is carried over to their viewers.

Trite but true, you only have one chance to make a good first impression. Your website is the front door for a patient. If you present anything less than the quality of service you offer it creates a disconnect with your viewer and reduces calls to your office. With competition for patients at a all time high, you can’t afford to loose a potential patient with a poor first impression. So, be sure that your website represents the quality of service you offer. I hope this talk has inspired you to take a serious look at how your website looks through the eyes of a patient.

Have a great week — I’d love to hear from you!


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