Your website needs to reflect your authority and expertise, while properly representing your professionalism and brand.
Incorporating modern design elements into your website can help you showcase your expertise and professionalism. A website that is clean and easy-to-use will always create an excellent first impression with visitors and encourage them to learn more about your practice.
Before we dig into this year’s legal web design trends, there are 3 basic foundational features your website should have: mobile-friendly design, user-friendly navigation, relevant content. These features can also affect your search engine optimization.
Three Must-Have Features for Attorney Websites
1. Mobile-Friendly Design
Mobile web design ensures your website is accessible on an iPhone, Galaxy S10, tablet, notebook, or any other mobile device on the market. Using responsive design technology, your website will automatically adapt to the screen size and resolution of the device used.
It’s important your website is mobile-friendly because most people use their phones (or smaller screen sizes) to research while on the go. Google also prefers mobile-friendly websites and indexes them first.
2. User-Friendly Navigation
User-friendly means it’s easy for users to find what they’re looking for on your website. Your main navigation menu is simple and straightforward, your calls-to-action are clear, and your pages are easy-to-read.
3. Relevant Content
While it’s important to be unique and position yourself as an expert in your field, you also want the content of your website to connect with people who need your services.
Avoid legal jargon and focus on clearly explaining your services. Make it clear who you serve, your practice areas, and how users can request case evaluations.
Now, let’s dig into this year’s legal web design trends:
Five Web Design Trends for Law Firms in 2019
UX (user experience) is more important when designing websites than ever before. Using interactive elements, like cinemagraphs, helps evoke emotion, appreciation, and credibility.
Cinemagraphs add a stunning, modern element to your website. This latest web design trend uses high-quality images that blend video and photography with subtle motion on a fluid, unbroken loop. Cinemagraphs capture your user’s attention and provide a more immersive experience, keeping them engaged and interested in your website.
In the example above, maritime law firm Arnold & Itkin LLP, leverages cinemagraphs to create an “out-at-sea” experience. Their audience, people hurt/affected by a maritime or offshore accident, can relate to the imagery (offshore drilling, oil rigs, sea vessels, etc.) and immediately feel like they’re in the right place.
This feeling encourages them to learn more about the law firm, read case results, and request a case evaluation.
2. Serif Fonts
A long-standing web design rule is to use sans-serif font. However, screen resolutions have dramatically improved and this outdated rule is not really a rule anymore.
More web designers are adopting serif font because it conveys authority and professionalism. And this is exactly what you want to portray on your law firm’s website.
The most popular serif fonts in 2019, according to Typewolf are:
- Freight Text
- Tiempos Text
Tip: When using serif font on your website, preview it on a small screen to ensure the typeface is clear, crisp, and easy to read. You may find a blend of serif for headers and subheaders blended with sans-serif font for your main content creates an attractive, modern balance.
While using video on websites is not new, it is a more important web design element to include on homepages and service pages.
From a design perspective, video helps to break up text content and diversify the page layout.
Video also improves user experience and makes it easier to connect with your potential clients.
Another benefit of video content is the impact they make on your search engine ranking. Google and Bing are now showing video content directly in the search results.
Adding video to your website and legal marketing strategy, improves your visibility in the search results, the user experience you create on your website, and your content marketing efforts.
4. Micro-Animation Trends for Lawyer Websites
Micro-animations are small visual cues that draw the user’s attention. For example, when you scroll near a menu item and it increases size or changes color, you’re seeing a micro-animation.
Due to small screen sizes and flat design, micro-animations guides a visitor around your website, subtly encouraging them to follow your calls to action and request a case evaluation with your firm.
Minimalist web design is clean, crisp, and doesn’t rely on complicated graphics, bold colors, and excess text to draw the visitor in. In fact, it’s clear, stark look conveys a simple message to make a bold impact.
While minimalism is always a classic and popular look, it’s becoming more of web design trend for law firms.
As an attorney, the goal of your website is to connect with potential clients and showcase your expertise. Having a stark, near-empty home page may not be practical, however, you can use elements of minimalism for your website.
In the example above, Small Law leverages whitespace around his text content, like the mission statement, to draw attention to his purpose and practice areas. Their no muss, no fuss approach lets the content speak for itself.