Dr. Kate Cummins: A Custom Squarespace Website
Dr. Kate first sent me an email with a short message saying "I would like to work with you because I’m committed to working with a woman, and I also looked at your stuff and like the visual appeal." I get a lot of emails and requests from potential clients that say they like my work, but this was the first I'd ever gotten related to supporting women specifically. It was that sentiment that made me realize what a high-caliber client I was about to begin working with.
Something else that Dr. Kate did: shared her social media profiles with me. This really helped flesh out the picture of who Dr. Kate was and what she was trying to do and say as a healthcare provider. After a quick Facetime it was clear that we had a solid vision to build her a website that patients would LOVE to visit.
First, we define the mood for the site. Because a website is a virtual environment, it is important to think of designing it just like you'd design your physical place of business. We asked the following questions:
What is a defining tagline or sentiment that you want to communicate with your visitors?
Dr. Kate already had started using the tagline "Shine On" in her social media, and it communicated hope and confidence to those that follow her on her feeds. I loved the tagline and it inspired me to think in that way- shiny and bright!
Who is your target audience?
The thing about health is that is a comprehensive and complex system of environment, relationships and personal mental wellness. Since Dr. Kate specializes in women's wellness, that was going to be a major focus for the site.
What are 5 words that describe the mood you want visitors to have?
Dr. Kate said something to the effect of "I want anyone that sees this website to just feel like it's the best thing they've seen all day. I want it to make them feel happy and free". Don't take that as a direct quote, but it was something like that :D So the list was basically:
What colors, fonts and layouts help us communicate all of the above?
With "Shine On" as a strong message of confidence of freedom, we chose to go with a bright, magazine-like layout featuring golden tones and easy-to-read black and white pages. The major visual factors would be focused on joyful and positive imagery featuring people mostly outdoors for that free feeling.
Fonts help set a visual language for the content so it was equally important to the colors and visual imagery. After some A/B testing, Dr. Kate agreed with a font selection that she described as "It is beautiful, strong, bold, easy to read, engaging, and also feminine but not too feminine."
Finally, the layout arrangement needed to match that positive, organized and free feeling by making content easily accessible but not by embedding links all over the place! We did this by creating a very mobile-friendly site, using Index pages to highlight different sections in the Home page and then again for different services. We then created easy-to-navigate menus with anchored section links for the ease of the user to get to exactly where they wanted to go, but with the freedom to navigate freely between pages.