As a website designer and developer, if you’ve just encountered a project to design a law firm website, you may have lots of questions.
If it’s the first time your website design company has landed a task of this nature, your priority would be to ensure that it’s successful, meets and goes beyond client expectations.
You would want your work to be noticed, judged as the best and to set the benchmark in law firm website design.
As a design professional, you’d be the first to recognize the hallmarks of the perfect business site design that combines aesthetics and functionality.
What Makes A Great Website Design?
Today, it takes less than 0.05 seconds to judge a website and form an opinion.
No matter how highly-reputed, well-established and successful the law firm is, if its website looks crummy and low-grade, it gives visitors and potential clients a less-than-pleasant first impression.
A website is the law firm’s 24x7x365 marketing department. It stays open day and night for people from all walks of life and all locations to visit, and offers a range of facilities, services and information.
It can have a negative impact on the firm’s image, business plans and reputation if its website doesn’t look professional.
As website designers know, there are no hard and fast rules in design and often, out of the box creativity can hit the right spot quite unexpectedly.
The elements of great design are:
Simplicity: Keeping the design simple and basic gives you the leeway to highlight other features. A clutter-free and neat appearance, with everything in its place, easy-to-find important features serve to give the visitor a sense of purpose.
Style: It’s important to know the needs, area of business, requirements, target audience and functionality specifics of the website before you start the project. For instance, if you’re working on a design for a rock band, you need a certain style element, while a website for a doctor requires an entirely different tone.
Color Schemes and Fonts: Avoid loud and in-your-face color schemes that may not render well on all devices. High contrast colors and complex, unusual fonts may be unsuitable for mobile phone screens. Cheap fonts are a no-no because they automatically create the impression that everything about the site and the firm are not up to the mark.
Images: Using larger images that are closely linked to the brand’s overall story are trending right now. It’s a good idea to take your own photos instead of pulling out stock images. Good web design is one that combines well-tried-out elements with innovative aspects and placement.
Trends: Stay in touch with the latest trends and style elements in website design. One of the most popular ones today is favicons – these are the tiny icons that appear with your website’s name in the browser tab on the left. They’re a great little feature to have especially if someone wants to bookmark the site.
Why Lawyers Need Websites
As with any other business, unless a client or customer knows about it and can find it on the net, gets enough information about it and confirms that it is reliable, trustworthy and has a successful track record, it would be impossible for it to stay afloat.
Small firms or solo practitioners need more exposure and visibility so that they can stay ahead of the competition. Mid-sized firms are more focused on creating a brand identity, strategic growth, business growth, cost efficiency, showcasing their talents and reputation building/enhancement through technology. Large law firms with multiple locations, handling a broader range of legal areas and with a huge pool of staff, legal experts, consultants, paralegals, specialists, etc have a different set of requirements.
Websites help to
- Convert visitors into clients
- Demonstrate your skills and authority
- Provide information on your suite of services
- Showcase your achievements
- Zero in on the target audience’s concerns and issues
- List the benefits of hiring your firm
- Build your brand and client loyalty
Keep these basics in mind when brainstorming for law firm website design inspiration.
How to Design A Professional Looking Law Firm Website
It must reflect the business: The type of business determines every aspect of professional website design. A neat, simple, yet elegant architecture, along with a pleasing and convenient arrangement of all the elements in the design help visitors and clients to get what/where they want swiftly and conveniently. Add photos of the team so that people can put a face to the name.
Focus on functionality: Professional law firm websites must concentrate on the functionality because more than 75% of consumers report that they evaluate a company based on its website design. This means that the design must have easy navigation, with a clear and unambiguous site map. Readability should be top priority.
Typically, good website design follows the classical “F” pattern, where viewers usually read the entire top portion and then down the left hand side, then go back to the mid section. Place important stuff such as CTA on the top portion for best effect.
Mobile friendly: Remember that a large majority of people browse on their mobile phones, so keep the scrolling as low as possible by being cautious with page length.
Simple and easy to find search buttons, a skip navigation feature, with easy to read labels on the links that give an accurate description of what they’re about, are some of the features that ensure professional design.
Chatbots and virtual assistants: A large majority of mobile apps are messaging apps and you can make the law firm website look more professional with the aid of these.
AI based chatbots and virtual assistants are useful features that provide answers to frequently asked questions and can direct you to the right source within the website for further information.
They help the visitor to quickly find the information required, and also help to gather data about the visitor’s needs and behavior on the site.
Number of pages: Stick with the 5-page format that most people are familiar with. This means the Home page, About Us page, Bio page, Services and Contact Us page. You can add more pages such as Blog or News, language options, Schedule A Consultation, Testimonials, etc.
Adding Value: Your website can provide a range of services that offer useful information. These may include links to podcasts, e-books, videos, webinars, infographics, white papers, etc.
This increases the brand value of the site, promotes it on social media, makes it an authority on reliable, trustworthy facts and also ensures that you build strong leads and links.
You can also add value by using features such as checklists, banners, printable materials, quizzes etc that can serve as lead magnets.