When deciding what type of site we wanted for this month’s awards, we realized we wanted something built on recent technology. So many changes are in the pipeline thanks to advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning that we spent some time brainstorming which sites tap into various tools–BetterHelp made the cut thanks to its app, which is user friendly and practical.
The online therapy sphere is still somewhat new, although some places have been doing it on a smaller scale for many years. To be effective, the online model must be easy enough for anyone to use without much onboarding. The focus this month was fully on user experience (UX), but we also wanted a website that still hit the other high notes we expect from a well-designed site.
The world is in the middle of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0). For example, the adoption rates for AI across almost every sector is on the rise. Marketing and Advertising is at 37% but consulting hovers around 30%, which is the category BetterHelp falls into.
With that in mind, we chose BetterHelp because they utilize technology to code tools that help people overcome difficulties. We also liked their cartoon renderings for the various groups of potential customers. Rather than using a random stock photo of a person they think might seek online therapy, they dug into their buyer personas and created an image for each.
The effect is an aesthetically pleasing design that hits on many modern trends.
What Does BetterHelp Do?
BetterHelp offers virtual therapy via a variety of modes, including:
- Live Chat
One thing to be aware of for those utilizing the services is that not all therapists offer all modes of communication. While it sounds as though you’ll have access around the clock, there are limitations. In-person therapy also has some rules surrounding communication, so we didn’t see this as a particular weakness for the business model. Our focus is on overall design anyway but we felt we should mention it.
Although we didn’t actually pay for a therapy session, we did review dozens of third-party reviews, study screenshots and check out the app on a mobile device. Building an app can be challenging for most businesses. When an app is simple to navigate the entire user experience increases tenfold. BetterHelp’s platform seems very intuitive.
BetterHelp claims to be the largest therapy platform in the world. They’re located in Silicon Valley alongside some of the biggest tech companies in the world, such as Apple, Facebook and Google.
The company was founded by Alon Matas and Danny Bragonier in 2013. Two years later, the company Teladoc, Inc. bought the brand name. Matas wanted to offer something to help others after his own struggles to find professional counseling that worked with his professional schedule.
Why We Chose BetterHelp As Our Site of the Month
The use of video chats, live chats and a dedicated app were the main reasons we selected BetterHelp as our site of the month. There are many therapy websites out there offering excellent UX for site visitors. However, the app put things over the top for this company and made us select them as a good one to study when developing an online presence for a counseling business.
Let’s dig into what we love about this site and what you can learn for your own designs. Even if you don’t own a therapy-based business, you can still gather tips to apply to your online presence.
Modern Minimalistic Design
The illustrations work particularly well for this site. Whenever a new visitor lands on the page, they immediately see images of people like them in illustrated form.
The website’s colors are soothing blues and greens. People tend to have an emotional response to colors. The color blue is widely used in design as both men and women like the hue. Green can indicate nature and give the hint of being kind to yourself. The combination of the two colors creates a calm design we love.
The site has a simple navigation bar right where users expect one to be, near the top of the page. The nav bar is interactive. As you hover over the tabs, a lime-green underline appears to show you can click there and go to that section of the site.
The designer limited the number of categories to seven so the user isn’t overwhelmed with choices. Although the navigation works well, it doesn’t overwhelm the rest of the design, sitting at the top and waiting until it’s needed.
Call to Action (CTA) Buttons
The CTA buttons on the site are quite effective because they are specific to the user’s needs. Within the nav bar are two potential CTAs. One lets current clients log in and the other helps new clients “Get Started.”
Still within the top fold of the page are three categories where people can click and gather more information, including individual, couples and teen therapy.
The app is available for iOS and Android devices. You can use it to book therapy sessions or engage in live chat or video chat with your therapist. The app has a 4.8 star out of 5 star rating on Apple.
You don’t need any special training to use the app. Anyone with a smartphone should be able to figure it out in minutes.
The website engages users from the minute they land on it. In addition to the underlines within the navigation bar, there is an ongoing ticker counting up the number of clients they’ve helped and how many therapists they employ.
If the user chooses to “get matched” to a therapist, the system walks them through a series of steps that are simple and personalized through the journey. The system asks a series of questions, which may lead to additional questions in an attempt to match you with a therapist offering what you most need and want. The process is quite UX-friendly with just a button to click after each question.
We also like the comparison checklist on the homepage of the site. They show the differences between online and in-person therapy so users can make an informed decision about their next step.
The use of check boxes and red X’s highlights the benefits of digital therapy and why they might be the best choice for some people. Just under, they highlight a few reviews to drive home how helpful the model might be to their target audience.
One mistake we see a lot when searching various websites and analyzing their strengths is lack of focus. Some pages are built over time and hop around to various trains of thought without a singular purpose for the landing page.
With BetterHelp’s landing page, the focus is on converting the site visitor into a patient. Sharing details, adding strong CTA commands and keeping the focus on getting started all work together to move the user to the next step in the journey.
What We Would Do Different
While we do love the look of the site and how modern it feels and the app is perfection, we would change a few things to just make it a bit better.
First, the FAQ category in the main navigation bar is distracting. It is an all caps acronym, while the rest of the taps are title case categories. It doesn’t seem to fit there and it draws the attention away from the CTAs. We would shift it to the footer instead.
The typography works and fits nicely, but we would make the headline a bit bolder and have it better match the logo text. It doesn’t pop as much as it could and the reader sort of skims past it. Perhaps the designer’s intent was to move the user right to the three boxed categories, but it falls a bit flat.
Overall, the BetterHelp website and app hit all the high notes we expect from a well-designed site. You’ll learn a lot by studying what they do and how to incorporate elements of the design into your own work.