A couple of years ago, I wrote an Attorney at Work post on the top trends for law firm websites. The world of web development has seen some major changes since then. Today, it is a given that you will optimize websites for mobile, update your site frequently and aim to publish high-quality information.
The trends we’ll likely see in 2018 involve more sophisticated development and branding strategies. Let’s take a look at a few examples.
People always remember a good story. Today’s advertising is not so much about telling people why your product or service is great as it is about telling a story with your brand. This has become the most effective way to connect with audiences, which have become oversaturated with traditional advertising and instead are seeking authentic connections to brands without feeling like they’re being given a hard sell.
Components of brand storytelling include:
- Why your law firm exists
- What motivates your legal team to work every single day
- An inside look at your firm and the way it operates
A law firm that masters brand storytelling will find its target audience much more willing to engage with it. (See “Client-Driven Content Is the Year’s Breakout Hit.”)
Web developers in 2018 will focus more on maximizing site performance and efficiency. In the past, style and flair were key ways to attract the attention of potential targets. Today, however, users are more easily distracted, as more than half of all browsing is done spontaneously on mobile devices. Websites must both deliver information quickly and operate with extreme efficiency.
Some crucial elements of efficient websites include:
- Smart use of negative space
- Easily read fonts and typography
- Collapsible menus
- Responsive design
- Working links
As hackers and malware become more sophisticated, so too do the security measures designed to combat them. Developers in 2018 will be more focused than ever on security. Any commercial website (including a law firm’s) that is serious about digital security will have a security certificate that’s updated for all pages of the site. Firms that do not take security seriously will have a hard time getting clients who will trust them enough to interact with their website, download content and share information.
GIFs are no longer the only animation tool available to developers — there are plenty of ways to add interesting animations to your website that will engage and interest users.
One example is motion UI. Animations in user interfaces add more style to a website and can help you distinguish your site from those of the countless law firms that have static, bland UI experiences. You might, for example, consider using page header transitions, animated hovers, animated charges, background animations and modular scrolling. These are just a few of the motion UI features being implemented on modern websites.
Scroll-triggered animations have also become quite popular. They can help create a cleaner and more interactive look-and-feel to your site, rather than using a collection of buttons and menus that only serve to clog up the interface.
The Internet of Things
Internet of Things devices can be as simple or complex as the developer desires. But what is clear is that connecting web services to the Internet of Things will continue to increase in popularity in 2018. Expect to see businesses of all types, including law firms, find new and innovative ways to connect devices and people to the digital world.
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