Top 5 Emerging Trends in Law Firm Web Design
Web design is constantly evolving, and it is necessary to stay on top of—or even ahead of—the latest trends if you want your website to stay relevant. Law firm web design is hardly immune to those trends, and you should make sure that the company designing your website is aware of them and can incorporate them into your website. The quality and reputation of your law firm will attract people to click on your website, but an attractive site that is clear and easy to navigate will keep them there.
These trends are not just ephemeral fancies that change with the seasons; they are proven design decisions that help to catch the eye, and keep the interest, of visitors. That means that the latest trends in web design are important conversion factors for your law firm, which means that any company that does website development for attorneys should incorporate as many of them that will logically work on your site.
Large Hero Images
A hero image is a large banner at the top of the web page that is the first thing users see when they visit. Hero images have been getting larger and the latest trend is for them to fill up the entire screen of the website’s front page. Sometimes the hero image is in the background with text overlaid over it. At other times, the text is below the image as the user scrolls down.
Regardless of how it functions, the hero image is important because it helps to give the user an immediate impression of the website. This is important because it only takes 50 milliseconds for a user to form an impression of a website, so the hero image needs to be bold and stand out. There are different types of hero images that can be used in your law firm web design, some examples of which are below:
The Carousel – This is essentially a slideshow consisting of different hero images that scroll automatically or via user input. This design enables the use of multiple hero images, which helps to keep the user interested.
Video – This consists of a video that automatically plays on a loop or plays when the user clicks on it. A video hero engages the user and can increase conversion rates by up to 80%.
The Call-To-Action (CTA) – This is when a CTA is placed in the centre of the hero. When done correctly, both the header and the CTA complement each other instead of drawing attention away from each other.
Parallax scrolling is a technique where the background image moves at a slower rate than the foreground to give the illusion of depth on a 2-D (two dimensional) plane. It was first used in 2-D video games from the ‘90’s and is now used in web design to create visual interest and enhance user engagement. This is because it encourages users to keep scrolling down to see what is next, which keeps viewers on the site for a longer period of time. Parallax scrolling not only adds style to a website, it can be used to tell a story and/or emphasize CTAs.
Lawyer websites are a prime target for hackers because they usually contain a lot of personal information that is valuable to cybercriminals. Security is such a big concern that the American Bar Association issued Formal Opinion 477, which states that lawyers have an ethical obligation to protect their clients’ information.
One of the most efficient ways to do so is by using SSL certification, which is indicated by the https:// at the beginning of a web address. This means that the communication between the website and the web browser is encrypted and secure. There are other methods that can, and should be used, such as backing up your data, but using an SSL certificate is one of the simplest.
We are all familiar with animation from cartoons and animated films but it is becoming more prevalent in web design as well. That is because animation is eye-catching and can direct the user’s attention to a part of the site the web designer wants to highlight. In law firm website development, it is better to use small, subtle animations instead of large scale ones.
Smaller animations enhance usability and can come in the form of simple, bouncing icons that show viewers where the live-chat feature on the website is located. There are other ways to use animation on a lawyer website, but they should always be subtle, rather than overt.
Also called analytics based web design, this is when the website is designed to analyze all the user data. This data can be used to understand how visitors interact with your site, which can be used to make improvements to the site so that it is more user-friendly. Data-driven design should be integrated in your law firm website development so that you always know what is successful and what needs to be improved.
Use The Latest Web Design Trends Wisely
As with any type of trend, these should not be overused. They are meant to enhance the site’s appeal, keep visitors interested, and make the website easier to navigate; the poor use of these trends could have the opposite effect. So, make certain that the company behind your law firm web design incorporates these trends in a way that is smart and sensible, rather than wild and haphazard.