Is Your Website Optimised for Smartphones and Tablets?

According to the latest industry data 13% of UK web traffic now comes from smartphones and tablets. More remarkable is the growth rate – that figure is up 70% from 12 months ago.

If you plan to do business internationally, some of the statistics from the emerging economies are astonishing. In India for instance, 53% of web traffic comes from mobile!

For us at CubeSocial, our data shows that around 25-30% of visitors regularly access cubesocial.com from mobile devices.

Something we’ve been planning to do for a while is update our website to detect the type of device you’re using and deliver an optimised experience, whatever the screen size. (The technical term for this is responsive design).

The good news is that our new, improved, responsive design is now live!

Take our main products page for instance, if you’re on a widescreen desktop or laptop, you get something like this:

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Browsing from an iPad in portrait mode, you’ll see this:

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On a smartphone, you’ll see this:

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Pretty neat, huh? Whatever device you use, you get a layout that works for you. No need to zoom in on tiny text, or try (and endlessly fail!?) to click on miniscule links.

But what’s really appealing to us about responsive design are the social media and SEO benefits…

The old way of doing mobile web sites was to have a separate site, with a dedicated mobile layout. The problem with this is that there are different URLs for the same content on different devices.  This means two things:

  • SEO becomes twice as hard because you need to optimise for two different URLs.
  • If you are sharing links in social media that don’t work well in mobile devices, then you have a problem. (Because most people’s social media use takes place on mobile devices).

Have you had a look recently what your website looks like on a smartphone? If you’d like some advice or help optimising your website for mobile devices, get in touch.

Why Websites Suck

imageClassic stuff from web usability expert Gerry McGovern

“There is one word to describe great web design: useful”

Gerry continues to explain what this actually means:
“There are always top tasks. Every website has a “book a flight”—it’s just that many have not discovered it yet. I have been doing this since 1994. The conversation with clients always begins this way: “We’re different, very complex, We don’t have top tasks. We have so many audiences.”

Classic organization-centric thinking. I have done hundreds of task identification projects the top tasks are always there. They are audience independent, geographic independent. For example, what’s the top task of a health website regardless of age, sex, income, professional, geography?”

We wrote about this topic when we reviewed the top 100 law firm websites, and Browne Jacobson nailed it with five top tasks taking pride of place in the centre of their home page. Gerry goes into lots more detail and the full article is well worth five minutes of your time to read.

The Best Law Firm Website is…

Did you take a look at the Top 100 Law Firm Websites? What did you think? Did any stand out to you as class-leadings sites?

For me there was one that did… and I’ll tell you which one in a moment… But first, those that have it wrong, the honourable mentions, and why.

So you say you’re client focussed, huh?

The problem with most of the websites we looked at, probably as much as 95% of them, is that they are just not client focussed. The majority start with a pitch about themselves. They typically say they are innovative, experts in their field, and client focussed. But if they are client focussed, why doesn’t the website illustrate that?

Solicitors tell me all the time that their job is to solve client’s problems. So assuming I am a client coming to your website for the first time, how can I easily map my problem onto the services you offer?  Most websites we looked at structured their content based on the practice areas of the firm. But guess what? Clients don’t care about the internal organisation of law firms, and it’s no good hoping they will learn. Instead think about how you can present your business in the way that clients think. Make easy access to answers your top priority.

Honourable mentions

Mischon de Reya has a minimalist home page with a Google-style search box front and centre.

MIschon de Reya

Client focussed? Yes. Helping me map my problems to solutions? Not a bad start… We tried a few search terms and came up trumps two thirds of the time.

Russell Jones & Walker have gone for a best of both worlds approach – a similar search box takes priority, with practice areas on the right.

Russell Jones & Walker website

Sadly the search didn’t quite hit the spot when we tried it. It seemed to prioritise news stories over explaining how Russell Jones & Walker could help solve my problem. Nevertheless, they deserve an honourable mention for avoiding all the usual home page trumpet blowing, focussing on the client and providing the Expert Guide PDF downloads shown on the right of the screenshot.

And the winner is…

The CubeSocial Law Firm Website of 2010 award goes to Browne Jacobson for putting clients right at the heart of the website, providing simple clear navigation based on the client’s need and using the client’s language rather than internal law firm boundaries to structure content. Go on, click through to the Browne Jacobson website and have a look. Not only is it very functional, it’s also beautifully designed and interactive. Congratulations to all involved.

Browne Jacobson website

Don’t agree with us? Think your firm’s website is better? Leave a comment below and let us know why.

Top 100 Law Firm Websites In Pictures

When Craig Holt of Quality Solicitors was recently quoted saying all Law Firm websites were the same, we thought we would put his thesis to the test. We decided to take a look at the websites of the Top 100 UK law firms and see who stood out from the crowd. 

So here they are…

Just looking at the homepages, for me, there is one website that stands head and shoulders above the rest. Can you spot the one I am thinking of? Are there any that you would commend or decry?

I’ll post up my thoughts on the stand-out sites and my reasons tomorrow. Meanwhile leave a comment below…

Update: See our verdict on the top Top Law Firm Websites