Static brochure websites are quickly becoming a thing of the past. People now expect frequently updated, current content and interactive design elements, even from an attorney website. Dated sites with links to old articles from your law school days do not connect with potential clients. As attorneys, you have a wealth of knowledge built from years of experience that you can harness to speak directly to the needs of the people visiting your site. The challenge is to merge useful content, responsive elements, social updates and modern design in a thoughtful way – a way that avoids throwing in fancy effects just for the sake of saying you can. When trying to come up with the right balance for your site, consider the following:
Function is a critical design element. A website’s design is more than just the colors, pictures and words on the page. These things all add to the experience and help create a connection with the user that is, ideally, in line with your firm’s identity. You do want your site to look good. Beyond that, however, it must be functional. A beautiful website without an obvious phone number, for example, will likely be of limited use to your firm. People need to be able to quickly find what they are looking for when they land on one of your pages, and they must be presented with action items that prompt them to take the next step and contact you.
The user experience should be the basis for layout decisions. A website design is the totality of the user’s interaction with the page. Try to put yourself in the position of a new visitor to your site. What are you looking for? Is it easy to navigate? Is the text readable? Are links obvious? Decisions about menu items, menu placement, font size, headlines and graphics must take user expectations into account. They must create a flow that gives a visitor obvious direction. Contrary to what consumers may think, they do not actually crave choices. They are more likely to take action when options are clear and limited.
HTML 5 offers possibilities that allow you to stretch the limits of your creativity. The most common HTML 5 based effects are things like...CONTINUE READING
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