Similar to just about any other industry creating a successful website design and user experience for the health and fitness audience takes much more than a great user interface design. Health and fitness organisations tend to carry a unique need when it comes to approaching website design and digital marketing. The backbone of a health and fitness-focused website is content. Not just well-written content, but meaningful content presented clearly and efficiently. Focusing your website design strategy on content can often be a challenge as health and fitness audiences crave information. People interested in this type of in-depth information are unique to most others as they’re more willing to spend time on a website reading in-depth articles, whereas most of us are more comfortable casually scanning through the page headings for what we’re looking for specifically, or finding something to click. On the surface, you may think the content strategy doesn’t fall on the web designer as much as the client or copywriter, however, without considering this particular user experience, a website design for health and fitness can quickly get derailed.
To see how our Toronto Web Design Agency puts these best practices in action, have a look at our Precision Nutrition website design case study for a visual presentation of our web design approach.
For deeper insight into our approach to website design for health and fitness organisations, let’s look at some best practices to follow…
Best Practices for Health & Fitness Web Design
Clean, Effective Design
Understanding how valuable the information on health-oriented websites is, special consideration should be taken to ensure that the design is clean and uncluttered. Allowing for more breathing room and breaks in the presentation of information provide users with an opportunity to absorb the vast amounts of information they’re seeking from the website.
Controlled Colour Palette
Keeping the colour palette in check is essential. This is not to say we should create health and fitness websites devoid of colour and excitement, or rely on the traditional blue and white. The idea is to keep the colour palette under control by limiting the user of wide ranges of colour and maintaining a healthy level of contrast between colour, image and content.
Typography plays a crucial role in the success of the website design in several ways. Using a modern, easy-to-read typeface not only allows the audience to scan and find what they’re looking for quickly, more importantly, but it also reduces the strain on their eyes as they read larger blocks of content. Using a slightly larger point size and increased line-height allows the reader’s eyes to relax a little more than usual and will keep visitors on the website longer.
Efficient and intuitive navigation design is a must for any website in our opinion, however, in the case of health and fitness websites, we strive to take this one step further. In addition to an intuitive navigational experience, we try to boil navigation down and group related information more than a typical website. This helps users easily navigate through their topic of interest, but also allows for great on-site cross-linking opportunities to boost the website’s search engine performance.
Photography plays a major role in health and fitness-focused website designs. As health-related information can often be stress inducing or carry with it a powerful emotional response, selecting calming or more positive imagery can help balance the experience on the website for the audience and ultimately leave a more positive, lasting impression between the brand and viewer.
Responsive and Accessible
It’s become increasingly rare to stumble across a website that is not yet responsive to your mobile device; however, the health and fitness field may be the slowest to adapt next to the financial industry. There’s no clear reason why this is the case. It could be tighter budgets or simply the fact that these websites tend to be rather daunting and information-heavy for their owners. The time commitment required for the organisation to invest in a website redesign can be quite extensive.
Our approach to website design for health and fitness organisations boils down to a pretty simple rule:
The website should be accessible anytime, anywhere.
Lastly, and definitely, the most commonly overlooked aspect of website design for health and fitness organisations is compliance. This topic is creeping up more in contemporary website design and will soon be the standard practice we hope. Ensuring the website meets accessibility compliance standards ensures that anyone and everyone can use the website to gather and understand important information. This not only appeals to a larger audience but can also offer significant search engine optimisation benefits.
About Parachute Design
If you’re interested in learning more about how we employ these best practices for health and fitness organisations or to have us prepare a formal proposal for your business, please complete our online quote request form, or call our health and fitness website design experts in Toronto at 416-901-8633.