[author: Noreen Fishman]
Your website is a reflection of your firm. Ideally, it enhances your branding and voice, But while there are many different directions you can take the site in, there are a few best practices when it comes to law firm website design that should always be followed. Truly great web design always supports a positive user experience and effective functionality. Here are 8 simple principles to making your law firm’s website more compelling.
Law Firm Website Design Tips
1. Keep Your Homepage Simple and Free from Clutter
The first page of your website should convey your key messages instantly, without much reading or clicking around. Remember that people scan rather than read, so your website should be designed accordingly. Design for decreasing attention spans and focus on breaking up content and making the material more inviting. Try these tactics for law firm website design:
- Keep your most important content above the fold.
- Space out content and use plenty of white space between elements.
- Communicate points with high-quality media features like photographs or infographics.
- Make sure to include a call-to-action for the next desired behavior
2. Have a Visual Hierarchy in Mind
Hierarchy is a critical element of law firm website design. By correctly using hierarchy in design, you can display your content in a clear and effective way. The main principle is to lead the attention of site visitors to certain page elements in order of priority, beginning with the most significant information. The main components involve size and weight, and element placement. For size and weight, highlight top assets by making them bigger. Things like your firm name and logo should be more visually prominent. Readers tend to view larger items first and then move on to smaller items. In terms of element placement, you want to be sure that your visitor’s eyes are going in the right direction. For example, place your key CTA at the very center of the screen. Then, use color, contrast, and spacing to further accentuate content. Always be mindful of what draws the most attention as you add to your web pages. Typically a strip or grid layout is the best for achieving a visual hierarchy when it comes to law firm website design.
3. Write Web Content That’s Easy to Read
“Readability” is a measurement of how simple it is for people to recognize the words and sentences on your website. When a site’s readability score is high, visitors can effortlessly scan through it. To achieve higher readability, try these tips:
- Ensure there is sufficient contrast between your text color and background color.
- Use a larger font size (a best practice for body text is 16 pt or above).
- Choose simple fonts that are less on the decorative side and more straightforward.
- Don’t use more than three typefaces on a single website.
To help establish the hierarchy and organize text, use a variety of sizes and weights according to a consistent theme (for example, a larger title, smaller sub-headings, and then smaller body copy).
4. Make Sure the Site is Easy to Navigate
Solid navigation makes things easy for your visitors and also sends positive signals to search engines. It’s a best practice of law firm website design to use your logo as a link to the home page in the upper corner. Your website menu should be easy to find and structured according to the importance of each section. If your site involves a lot of scrolling, you’ll want an anchor menu so that visitors can quickly get to any part of it. It’s also a good practice to put important links in the footer of your website. People expect to find contact information, social media icons, and other relevant links there.
5. Prioritize Mobile-Friendliness
All of your visitors should be able to use your site relatively easily. Mobile users now make up more than half of website traffic, so modern websites need to account for them. The mobile version for law firm website design should be cleaner and less cluttered than the desktop version. You can minimize page elements or scale back assets like menus. The best way to account for mobile is to create a responsive website, which automatically adjusts to optimize the user experience depending on what device is being used.
6. Focus on User Experience
While it’s fine to get creative with design, you don’t want to get so creative that the design becomes unintuitive. Focus on having a clean and simple design that’s easy to follow. Make sure your navigation makes sense and is easy to find from any page.
7. Keep it Consistent
A website becomes easier to navigate if each page has similar navigation and design. So, don’t have your nav bar display at the top on one page and then in the left-hand corner on another. This makes navigation confusing.
8. Use White Space
You don’t have to be afraid of white space when it comes to website design. Sure, too much white space makes the site look boring, but white space has a purpose when it comes to website design. Use white space appropriately to break up text and images and lend to a clean modern design.
Along with studying law firm website design best practices, take some time to find inspiration in other websites and read up on the latest design trends. A high-end, responsive website is your best marketing tool.