Your website can be one of your most powerful marketing tools, but only if it’s done right. People have literally billions of websites to choose from. Why should they engage with yours? Successful websites are designed not only with great aesthetics in mind, but also with a positive user experience. Here are some of the fundamental best practices in website design for law firms:
1. Keep it simple
The appearance of your website is certainly important, but the truth is that legal clients do not select a lawyer based on the website. visuals. Unnecessary design elements can overwhelm people and distract them from key actions. From a UX perspective, simplicity is key. Don’t use more than five colors in your design, make sure fonts are highly readable, and only add graphics if they help the user in some way or increase the likelihood that it takes a desired action.
2. Plan a visual hierarchy
Related to the simplicity principle above, it is a smart idea to organize and organize website content so that visitors can focus on the most important information first. Your main goal is to lead visitors to a desired action, but in a way that feels organic. Structure your site so that information flows that way and users are drawn to critical elements sooner.
3. Plan intuitive navigation
You need to help visitors find what they are looking for. In the best-case scenario, someone lands on your site and doesn’t need to explore much to figure out what to do next. To get people from point A to point B as quickly as possible, keep your overall site navigation simple. Additionally, include site navigation at the footer of web pages, consider using breadcrumbs on every page, and include a search bar at the top of your site so users can find specific items. In general, try not to force people to dig “too deep” for information – no more than three clicks on a page is ideal.
4. Keep everything consistent
The overall look and feel should be similar across all of your company’s web content. Color palettes, graphics, fonts, and tone should all adhere to the brand standards you set. This does not mean that every page should have the same layout. Having different layouts for different types of pages is a best practice in website design for law firms. However, using these types of pages consistently will assure readers that they are on the type of page that can provide the information they are looking for.
5. Make your site responsive
48% of page views worldwide come from mobile devices such as tablets or smartphones. With nearly half of all web traffic now moving to mobile, it’s essential to take responsive design elements seriously. People are very likely to leave a webpage if it is not displaying or displaying incorrectly. This means that your site must be compatible with several different display options. A responsive design will require investments in a highly flexible framework that automatically resizes and rearranges content, but it’s worth it to reach a large percentage of your users.
6. Understand accessibility
Web designers need to think about how they can make their site accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities or limitations that may affect their browsing. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) state that the site should be noticeable, usable, understandable and robust. You can read more about these guidelines in this article.
7. Stick to convention
Most of us use the internet quite often. This means that we have become accustomed to certain things happening on websites. For example, having the main navigation at the top of the page and placing a logo at the bottom left of a page are conventions people expect. Pay attention to details like making the logo clickable and having links that change appearance when you hover over them. Ignoring things often taken for granted by visitors will lead to a poor user experience.
8. Convey a level of trust
Credibility goes a long way towards a great user experience. Be clear and direct about your services from the first page; don’t force people to dig into other pages to find out what you actually offer. As long as it makes sense for your practice, display price information. This will help redirect people who ultimately won’t be the right customers for your business, and everyone will appreciate your honesty.
9. Perform User Testing
Ultimately, your site should provide a great experience for people who visit it. It’s worth taking the time to get feedback directly from users. But it’s not something you can do yourself or with your internal team – you’re too close to the project. Luckily, there are great user testing tools that can really help: Website Grader, Crazy Egg, Loop11, and HotJar.
A compelling design should be present in the overall structure of your website and in each individual page. But what does that actually mean? Hopefully, these best practices give you some guidelines to keep in mind if you’re embarking on a website design, redesign, or relaunch.