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Chapter 3/6

Website Essentials: Functionality & Accessibility

Law Firm Website Design

2 min read

Website Essentials: Functionality & Accessibility

A website should be two things: both functional and accessible to all. Legal websites that don’t work scare away visitors, reducing the number of leads you receive.

How to Enhance the Functionality of Your Website

Functionality refers to the interactive parts of your website and the process a client goes through to find relevant information or answer their questions. Around 75% of consumers admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on their website’s design. To avoid any negativity stemming from your website, start with simple functionality.

Here are some of the most important elements your law firm website design needs to function properly:

  • Easy navigation. Your website navigation should be easy to understand and follow. For example, each page title should say exactly what your visitors can expect from the page. Place your navigation at the top of your website. For pages that have sub-pages, include those in drop-down menus tied to your main navigation.

  • Clean sitemap. Include a sitemap, which is a visual map of the pages on your website. This helps search engines, such as Google, crawl your website, which boosts your search engine optimization.

  • Low scroll. Your website visitors don’t want to scroll forever to find what they’re looking for. Instead, they want to scan. Be mindful of the length of your website pages and keep scrolling to a minimum.

  • Search function. If your visitors are looking for something specific on your website, they’ll often look for a search bar. Add a simple search function to help your audience find the information they need fast.

  • Mobile-friendly design. Approximately 85% of consumers think a company’s mobile website should be as good as or better than the desktop. Make sure your law firm website design is responsive, meaning it fits the screen size of different devices automatically.

Why You Should Create a Website with Accessibility in Mind

When creating your website, it’s critical to remove all barriers that may keep your users from having a great user experience. This means emphasizing accessibility, a practice that ensures users with disabilities and without can engage with your content seamlessly.

  • Use alt text for your images. All images should include alt text so that screen readers can convey the image’s message to the user. If the image is for decoration only, leave the alt text blank.

  • Use headers. Used by screen readers for scanning, headers break up your content.

  • Use captioning for all video content. Videos should have captioning, or a text-based, on-screen script.

  • Add a skip navigation feature. Include a skip navigation feature that enables screen readers to skip reading the sometimes cumbersome navigation of a website.

  • Make sure links have descriptive names. In-text links should be descriptive, defining exactly what the user can expect from the next page after clicking the link.

These tips are only the beginning. True accessibility requires an in-depth audit of your website from the inside out. To learn more about accessibility standards, check out the Web Accessibility Initiative and listen to podcast #215 on Online Accessibility.

Go Deeper: Podcast Episode #215

Online Accessibility & Law-Firm Websites, with Lainey Feingold

Listen to Episode

Now that you have a beautiful, functional, accessible site, let’s focus on your content.