When designing a website, simplicity outweighs extravagance in terms of usability and conversion. The fact is that you are a lawyer—not a design firm or artist. The focus of your site should be on conversion—getting potential clients to call you or request an appointment—rather than on looking pretty.
That being said, you shouldn’t throw design out the window. An attractive design will give the impression of authenticity and professionalism. Whether you are looking to create a new website from scratch or improve an existing site, there are several important design elements you should keep in mind. Can you guess what one of them is? I’ll give you a hint: you’re staring at it right now.
Today’s design tip focuses on your font, the style in which your characters (letters, numbers, symbols, etc.) are presented to the user.
When visiting a site, you probably give little thought to the font. However, it’s one of the most critical elements of design. At GNGF, there are a few tools we use that not only provide exceptional fonts but also make the design process more efficient for our designers.
One of these tools is Google Fonts, an interactive directory of free, hosted font APIs. All fonts here are Open Source, meaning they are free to be shared for private or commercial use. You can even customize them for your own site.
The other tool we’re quite fond of is Typekit by Adobe. This service gives designers and developers a subscription-based library of hosted, high-quality fonts for their websites. With galleries of fonts and helpful blog posts on how to optimize your site through character design, Typekit is a font-lover’s dream.
It’s important to note that these tools have little—if any—performance penalty for your website. (This means that it won’t take eons to load the text on your site.)
Your webmaster should be well versed in the importance of fonts and the intricate role they play in the design of your site. (If you’re a GNGF client, you’re in good hands in this regard.)
So what’s the next step, you ask? Review your site. Is it easy for your eyes to follow the text and read along with minimum focus? Does the font accurately portray your firm and brand?
If you develop serious eye strain when reading the text on your home page, if your font doesn’t reflect well of your firm, or if your font is Comic Sans, it’s time for a change.