What Web Designers Wish Attorneys Knew
Your firm needs a strong website, so you’ve hired a professional. But have you ever wondered just what’s going through the head of the designer working with you? Understanding your designer’s thought process and expertise is one of the best ways you can get his or her best work.
How do I know? Because I’ve been that designer for dozens of law firm websites. So, in the interest of improving future relationships between creative types and attorneys, here are a few of my recurring thoughts that might be worth sharing:
Your definition of “design” is probably a bit short-sighted.
Whenever you can, remember to keep subjective opinions on color choice and typefaces separate from objective truths about what works and what doesn’t. Good website designers are problem solvers, but that problem isn’t just limited to style. Our goals are typically larger than simply making things pretty. We’ll do that too, but when we suggest a particular design that doesn’t necessarily resonate with you, rest assured that we’ve thought it through – from usability, accessibility, psychology, site load speed and much more. We’ll be good stewards of your brand identity, but we’re doing it in the service of your larger business goals
Our goals are your goals.
Tell designers what you want to achieve with your site. If you want to increase the visibility of your brand via social media, for instance, we can focus the site on those elements. On the other hand, a site dedicated to generating a high volume of inbound leads will emphasize strong calls to action and a prominent contact form. The better we understand what you want your site to do, the better we can build you something that meets those goals.
We love a good audience profile.
Do you know who you’re trying to reach? Tell us about that target market. A good designer will use that information when designing your site. The images used and even the layout – how the elements are positioned on the web page – can have a major impact on the behavior of your audience. So be as specific as possible when describing the particular niche or demographic you want to reach.
Less is often a whole lot more.
A high-performing site will result in more leads contacting your law firm. But many attorneys want to stuff their sites with too many visual elements. They’ll put a slew of social media icons next to their phone number thinking they’re increasing the odds of making a connection. Or they’ll squeeze scrolling text onto an already busy homepage. Elements like these can add value to a site, but they have to be employed with some restraint. Otherwise, the viewer will have a hard time focusing on the primary goal of your site.
Speaking of focus.
Spend the money on a high-quality photo of yourself or your team. It’s an essential part of a professional law firm website.
Our recent playbook, “Lawyer Marketing 102: Websites for Small Law Firms,” addresses website design and other essential aspects of online marketing. It won’t turn you into an art director overnight, but it will help make your relationship with your designer more productive. You can download a free copy of the book here. And if you’re ready to design a website that delivers more clients to your firm, schedule an appointment with a local consultant right now.