How Important Is Good Web Design to the Small Law Firm?

January 30, 2018

Most solo practitioners and small law firms have to work harder at just about everything. While a larger law firm can depend on its many partners leveraging their present clients' contacts, small firms usually don't have this same cache and must continually generate most new leads from scratch. One means of doing this is through your firm website, and while providing excellent content can inspire confidence in your practice, how you present this content is not only just as important as the content, itself, but - guess what? - the presentation is actually more important.

Here's how things stack up:

BJ Fogg, of Stanford University's Persuasive Technology Lab, conducted a study in which he collected over 2,400 participant comments on the credibility of 100 different websites.

The top 5 categories:

  • Design Look: 46.1%
  • Information Design/Structure: 28.5%
  • Information Focus: 25.1%
  • Company Motive: 15.5%
  • Information Usefulness: 14.8%

Design came in as #1 with nearly half saying it was the most important factor for conveying credibility. Think about it. You dress your best to represent your client in court. Why not take the same care with the design of your website to best represent yourself? In fact, you most likely already do - or want to. But what is that "good" design?

Well...there is no shortage of opinions on this, but one of the first things you can do is to take note of websites you find visually appealing. Make notes about what elements work well for you that could apply to your own website. Be specific and discerning (even a website you really like may have some elements not to your liking). Some areas of note in making this list are:

  • How easy is the Navigation to use? Can you get around the website easily, navigating easily from page to page (as opposed to going from present page back to the home page then to a new page)?
  • Is the information you want easy to find? Is it intuitive (i.e., where you think it would be)?
  • Is it mobile friendly (See Your Small Law Firm Website Needs To Be Mobile Friendly)?
  • How responsive is it (i.e., how well does it work across a variety of screens: desktop, tablet, mobile)?
  • What is the size of the text (relative to other elements on the page)? What type of font is it: Serif? Sans-serif? Rounded? Strong? How dense is the text?
  • What is the contrast like? Does the text stand out?
  • Is the website consistent in how it displays across various browsers (e.g., IE, Chrome, Firefox, Safari)?
  • Are the pictures relevant to the content? Are they proportional - or do they overwhelm? or are too small, or look really old (such as having beveled edges)?
  • Is the imagery fresh and in sync with the type of imagery you see all around you on other websites, in magazines and newspapers, on billboards, i.e., what is modern and present (or is the imagery trite or cliché)?
  • What colors are used? How well do they compliment or contrast?
  • What on-site technology is being used? Is it up-to-date, or an older technology, such as Flash?

Once you have this list, you should have a better idea of what works in your present website - and what you may need to update.

Still have questions? Please feel free to contact us. No pressure. We're here to help!

-Todd & the AttyHub Team

"I strive for two things in design: simplicity and clarity.
Great design is born of those two things."
- Lindon Leader (designer of the FedEx logo)