Lawyerist released its annual Best Law Firm Websites list. Apparently 10,000 people voted, over 50 websites were nominated, and Lawyerist chose the top ten. Although Lawyerist didnt release how exactly they chose the 10 winners, they did say that the responsiveness of the website (how it looks on your mobile phone) played a big part in the judging process.
None of the websites were anything to rave about. Law firm websites are notorious for being poorly designed. There is a movement to change that and have design finally permeate the legal industry led by Margaret Hagan. She frequently speaks at the legal innovation conferences that are popular these days. The winner this year was Kith & Kin, a boutique firm in Toronto. The site had more colors than an artists’ palette and each page contained more words than Les Miserables. Below are some general comments on the site:
– The contact information should be at the top, not the bottom. You want visitors to quickly and easily be able to reach you.
– There are way too many pictures and colors on display. There is so much going on that your eyes dont even know what to focus on.
-The striped rows separating the page should be removed as they are quite distracting and serve no purpose
What We Do page:
-There is way too much text here. They need to simplify their practice areas into 3 to 4 bullet points.
Who We Are page
-There is WAY too much text in their bios. Bios should be condensed into 1-2 paragraphs max.
I commend Lawyerist for putting together this competition, however their one mistake was to let other lawyers be the judges. Lawyers know nothing about design, and design is not all subjective, despite Sam Glover’s belief that “Great website design is in the eye of the beholder, and it is up to you to take a look and decide which you like best, according to whatever criteria is meaningful to you.” There is a level of objectiveness in determining what is and isn’t good user experience and design. What Lawyerist should have done was have a panel of user experience designers determine which law firm website was the best.