8 Website Design Mistakes Law Firms Should Avoid in 2023
Your website’s design is more important than you think. Research shows that up to 75% of your website’s credibility is attributed to its design. Simply put, if viewers come across design mistakes, they’ll quickly lose trust in your website altogether. Whether you are going through a website refresh or creating a new site from scratch, avoiding design mistakes will ensure your site is the best reflection of your firm. Here are the most common website design errors that law firms should avoid.
- Ignoring the importance of responsive design. Mobile web traffic rose yet again in 2022, now totaling more than 58% of global web activity. If your website doesn’t perform as well on a phone or tablet as it does on a desktop, you are certainly losing out on opportunities. If content renders poorly on any device, viewers are likely to get frustrated and bounce from the page. As you revisit (or create) your website, consider how each page looks for a mobile visitor. If you’re not happy with how content appears, it’s time to invest in responsive design.
- Forgetting how much accessibility matters. Many companies end up treating accessibility like an afterthought, which can lead to big problems. Accessibility is crucial for ensuring all users can understand your site, and it’s also important to search engines like Google. Complete an audit of your site and make sure you’re not committing these errors related to accessibility:
- Insufficient color contrast – This is important for ensuring that text and icons can be perceived properly.
- Missing or inaccurate alternative text for images or graphics – Image alt text is key for people using screen readers to visit your site.
- Insufficient or missing visual focus indicators – These are important for creating a clear visual indication of what element on the page has the current focus so users who are navigating with a keyboard know where they are.
- Overlooking accessible names or labels – Important for conveying information to those using assistive technologies.
- Sacrificing user experience for aesthetics. With the explosion of new media and design options over the years, it’s become common for designers to focus more on how a site looks than on how it functions. It’s important to make sure that you’re not using an excess of graphic elements that elevate a user’s senses but disconnect from the real purpose of your website. Be careful to ensure that you’re not diluting the messaging of your site with too much animation, interactive content, heavy graphics, etc. Make sure there is a balance, and that form supports function across your website.
- Ignoring customization. There are plenty of attractive and functional website templates to choose from. The problem is your competitors are using them as well. By choosing a cookie-cutter template and not customizing it, you’re not setting yourself apart. You don’t want your pages to be formulaic or boring – they should reflect your unique messaging and be more memorable to your audience. The design decisions you make should feel unique to your firm and reflect your branding.
- A lack of hierarchy. If you’ve ever visited a website and felt unsure of where to focus, then you understand why hierarchy matters. In the same way that a newspaper uses headlines and subheads to help direct your attention, your website’s typography should perform similarly. Create an order on your website for both visual and functional appeal. Visitors should be able to understand the order of your website and what action to take next. This can get a little complicated if you have a variety of audiences with different goals. However, it’s important to spend time considering the users’ paths and whether or not it’s clear how to navigate throughout the site.
- Choosing features that don’t convert. No matter how cool a visual element may be, if it’s not helping your visitors to take desired actions on your site, it’s not effective. For example, relying on rotating carousels to feature multiple content pieces at the same level. Many users won’t take the time to interact with carousels, and so they’re missing out on reading some of your most impactful content. Additionally, on mobile devices, the interaction cost is high – meaning many people will not take additional steps to engage with your website. Before you integrate a new feature into your site, consider whether it really helps your visitors to move throughout your site.
- Having unclear navigation. Clear navigation is one of the most important features of successful web design. Visitors should know where to go once they land on your site without finding themselves in a predicament. Without proper navigation, your site can feel crowded and cumbersome. Having clear navigation provides consistency across touchpoints and user journeys, ensuring a smooth transition to the next step.
- Not highlighting your business purpose. What exactly does your firm do? Visitors should understand the answer to this question as soon as they land on your site. Without that, they may abandon your site as quickly as they came. Your site should have messaging above the fold that clearly conveys what services you offer. Your website can enhance the overall credibility of your firm.
It’s important to avoid these common mistakes so that your site is viewed as trustworthy and visitors have a positive experience. As you redo (or design) your website, keep an eye on these errors and make sure you are creating the best site possible – in both user experience and design. If you want to take your website to the next level, reach out to us. We build high-end, responsive websites that perform well in search and generate leads.