I bring together all elements of digital design to create unique platforms and products.
Freelance web designer
Specialised in UI and web design
- Anorak Digital
- Ntrōpic Group
- The Brand Launchers
- Yaya Digital Consultancy
- Layout & typography
The goal of the new platform was to create an impactful and professional online presence, one that would lead the idea of what a legal website could look and feel.
Within the large number of sites of legal professionals and practices online, there is an overwhelming trend of outdated and unappealing design with outdated appearance and clunky navigation that is not representative of the quality of service that is available. Initially thought of as a missed opportunity for the industry, I was informed that as most work is through word of mouth, and that barristers are self-employed, many do not have the incentive to pay for their own websites. On a chambers’ website, the practitioners housed within the organisation have a basic profile that explains their strengths and accomplishments, however this causes the profiles to be lost under the larger umbrella of the chambers itself.
With these points in mind, and in order to maximise promotion with the most amount of scope for search engine optimisation, a well-structured, in-depth portfolio of the client’s services and achievements was the best way to proceed.
Through market research and competitor analysis, a few options were put forward in terms of the site design, structure and branding from which the main components were chosen. Sites like Hodge Jones & Allen, Kingsley Napley LLP and the investment banking company JP Morgan were the top choices out of the research guide (include link here) and were used as reference due to their contemporary look and well-organised content build.
These businesses, as a standard, often use a serif typeface and a neutral, corporate aesthetic to emanate professionalism. This is a standard design principle used by many businesses in the early internet/mid-00s. With increased smartphone usage, the introduction of new computer systems with bigger screens, the approach in 2022 retaining this approach appears outdated to clients.
The typographic choices for the site were investigated through market research. Serif typefaces are undoubtedly the standard and heritage type within the legal field, found in legal briefs and strewn across the courts and inns of London; they create an unquestionable sense of professionalism.
Post-internet, this kind of typography has also been applied broadly and extensively within websites for businesses, organisations and individuals in the legal field. However, especially in recent history, firms have begun to match sans-serif typefaces with their corporate imagery as sans-serif works much better with images and colour, as is explained in Gary Hustwit’s film ‘Helvetica’.
I wanted the site to be clean and minimal, letting the type speak for itself, therefore for continuity I used Superior Title for headings throughout the platform with Neue Haas Unica as the pairing for longer text elements. This created variety and allowed for a more creative design of the informative pages for cases, news and articles.
A design that cuts corners by being plain, static and bulky is not only distracting but gets in the way of a fundamental design and business goal: to appear professional but also contemporary and competent. The focus, I believe, should also be on considered, clean, seamless formatting and design to highlight the website’s contents and to show prospective legal clients that they are competitive, up-to-date and able to keep pace with the digital world.
As a website for an individual barrister seeking clients, the curation, organisation and promotion of personal and professional information should be, first and foremost, discreet. This was achieved through the division of sections, embedding the information within these sections, and including Miss Laws’ more descriptive information on the about page; which also was the best place to include her photo as placing it on the homepage wouldn’t work with the discreet, professional style of the site as a whole.
As the site was made for promotion, the route to the contact page is made clear from the beginning, appearing in the hero image as well as the menu. The kebab menu was used across all screen sizes, along with the pure white background, to keep the interface clean and allowing the content to be the main focus within the viewport.
Due to the number of sections within the site, keeping the homepage concise was important. Including just three examples for each section, with links to the main page of each, allowed for a briefer viewing experience and for the prime items to be showcased. The structure of the site was determined through conversation with myself and Eleanor, choosing various areas that she wanted to display and implementing them into the menu of the site. This journey was built directly into Webflow using pages to structure the hierarchy.
Custom illustrations and slight animations brought the ‘about’ page to life, showcasing Eleanor’s work and highlighting her achievements.
Alongside the build of the site through Webflow, I handled the SEO aspects also. Through extensive keyword research for the legal field, image ALT texts, metadata and headings were all focused towards making the site as appealing to the Google search engine as possible. Creating the site for a flawless mobile experience from the beginning of the development process was also an important part of building efficient SEO.
The success of this tailored work has been visible with the site scoring highly on Google search results for related keywords, including 2nd place for ‘Eleanor Laws’ and ‘Eleanor Laws KC’ search terms after 4 months of publishing.
Hodge Jones & Allen
Kingsley Napley LLC