I’ve been creating therapist websites since 2006.
Therapist web design trends sure have come a long way in that time!
Back in 2006, most therapist websites had been created by “someone’s cousin or kid.” The design style was utilitarian, blocky, and featured photos of zen rocks and sand circles. Everyone’s website looked the same – and they all seemed to work.
By 2014, the smartphone revolution had forced therapists to reevaluate and reimagine their entire online presence. The static designs of yesteryear evolved into fluid websites that automatically adjusted to look good on all devices (aka, “responsive design”).
DIY webpage builders like Squarespace revolutionized and democratized therapist web design.
Popular Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly templates used bold colors, creative photography, interesting dividers, sharp lines, animated words, and sliders. However, the ubiquitous nature of these easy to use systems quickly led to most therapist websites looking the same.
Today, cutting-edge therapist websites use mindfulness principals to guide the look, feel, and user experience. They are created by artists and focus on minimalism. Popular design styles feature ample whitespace, shorter text blocks, bold CTAs, flowing lines, and illustrations.
Stock photography for therapists
Therapists often use photography to evoke a mood or emotion. Each image has the chance to make a personal connection, show a visitor that you “get them,” and inspire them to reach out for help.
Over the past 15 years, I’ve witnessed numerous therapist web design trends in stock photography use. Here are a few of the most prominent ones:
- The Zen Rock Era — In the beginning, therapist websites relied on images that were more fitting for a spa or massage parlor. Sand drawings, drops of water, and other scenes of tranquility were balanced out by images of stormy skies, lightning, and waves crashing over lighthouses
- Realistic Feelings – Next, therapists focused on finding photos that reflected the mood of the reader. Pages on depression featured men and women sulking. Anger management pages had someone yelling. You get the idea.
- The Change They Seek – After a while, moody photos were replaced by uplifting ones – women jumping for joy on a beach at sunset, friends in nature, happy couples, and people living the life they want to live. This style is still popular on many therapist websites.
Therapist web design trends follow the “innovation adoption lifecycle.”
Therapist web design trends follow a bell curve — just like any other technology. First, the innovators and early adopters refine a design style. Then, the early and late majorities see this, like it, refine it, and create new websites using their favorite elements. Finally, the laggards and phobics join in … or not.
Within a few years, the design style has become saturated, This leads therapists to once again ask, “how do I make a website that doesn’t look like everyone else’s?” And with that, a new cycle of therapist web design trends begins.
Using illustrations to share your story
Custom illustrations have begun to replace (or compliment) stock photography – with design elements weaving a narrative through shapes, words, lines, and photos. Two Chairs Therapy does a good job of this.
By shifting away from DIY builders and towards custom websites, the entire process has become far more collaborative. Imagine identifying your dream client – then having an artist create a masterpiece that speaks directly to them. That’s what happens when we create websites for therapists.
7 time-tested therapist web design trends
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Whatever your website looks like, it should have these key design elements:
- Contact forms on every page
- A menu that stays with users as they scroll
- An easy way to see all your services and specializations
- Insurance, fees, and other FAQs
- Obvious links to your free phone consultation
- A website that works well on all devices
- A blog that highlights your expertise
Regardless of the latest trends, user experience has always been of paramount importance. Your website should speak directly to your dream client. It should address their current state of mind head-on and give them plenty of ways to reach out.
Therapist Web Design Samples
Each of the therapist websites below represents months of collaboration, coaching, branding, and custom design.
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