What should the landing page of your legal help website look like? What should it say, and what’s its purpose?
Our team has been working with courts and legal aid groups to design websites for the public. From this experience, and reviewing other groups’ websites, we have a few guiding principles for putting together a good landing page for a legal help website — especially one that is serving a variety of different legal issues.
Here is a discussion of the design choices we made on the Virginia Legal Aid Guides website, to discuss the important design/legal principles we were following to help our users.
This video walks through design principles for a good Legal Help webpage design. It covers:
- Flagging Jurisdiction frequently, to communicate which people the site is for — and who it’s not for. We use frequent references to the state jurisdiction that this site is for.
- Signal reliability and free accessibility by highlighting the common, known concept of “Legal Aid” and references to the trustworthy group that runs it — in this case Legal Services of Northern Virginia
- Providing a Bird’s Eye View of the scenarios that the website can help a person with. Many people won’t know whether their life problem will be covered in this website. Give the main categories of scenarios your site can help with, plus some of the most common specific scenarios people might be searching for help with
- Give Off-Ramps to human services (with phone numbers to call, offices to visit, online intake to fill in) for people who don’t want to be using online guides. Also give off-ramps to other jurisdictions, so they can find help in other places.