Communication Arts / Design Interact Site of the Week: Heartbeat Software
Week of April 4: HeartbeatSoftware
This division of HeartbeatDigital creates custom software solutions for clients in healthcare and financial services.
This site has a laid back presence and it’s also a classic example of simple, elegant design structure. It’s a standout example of a strong, well-defined, information-focused site; it’s also organized, informative and logical with a design that supports the goal of getting facts to the end-user.
The content is a straightforward presentation of information with no bells-and-whistles. There are, however, a couple of unique inclusions: Since the software that Hearbeat designs for its clients is confidential, the developer needed an innovative solution for presenting the products without actually showing them. The creative execution (which involved photographing monitors through a loupe) uses distorted imagery to present ideas without giving away too much information. There’s also a nice use of a callouts, a familiar device borrowed from print design, for repackaging links to content. Although fairly common, we really liked the way they were done with drop shadows—it’s a small, yet effective design solution that draws more attention to the feature boxes. Because the company builds proprietary software, a call to Demo Our Products links only to a sign-up form; although we understand, it have been nice if they’d included some type of online demo.
Key to the information-based nature of the site is a navigation that’s clear and intuitive. With its streamlined interface and well-defined hierarchy it’s an easy-to-navigate resource for visitors who probably don’t have time for guessing how to access content and who aren’t overly interested in exploration for entertainment’s sake. Information is organized by industry, product name and solution and provides visitors with direct and efficient access to the products. A standard information structure and a top page navigation, consisting of pulldown menus with clearly delineated headings offer access to core sections. And, a sub-navigation in a standard left-hand position (with obvious cues and iconography) further defines top-page content. Once inside sections, heads are highlighted in the main nav bar and in the sub navigation—a simple, yet often overlooked feature that makes it easy for visitors to remember their location.
Most importantly, and key to the success of the site, clients have noted that the company’s reputation is reinforced by a professional, effective online presence.
Jonah Meyers, HeartbeatSoftware/HeartbeatDigital, creative director/art director
Don Citarella, ERA404 Creative Group, assistant art director/developer