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Right on the Button: Why FindLaw is Obsessed With Buttons

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By William Peacock, Esq. on June 20, 2013 3:55 PM

When the request for a post about FindLaw’s usage of buttons was handed down from above, my response was, “Buttons?”

Because seriously, who cares about buttons? A button is a button. Big, small, red, or tall, as long as you can click it, why does it matter?

After digging through surveys, research, and user interface and user experience guidelines, there it was: my Internet life, a slideshow of online frustrations past, spelled out in a series of misplaced and nonexistent buttons.

Ever fill out an online form, only to accidently click the "cancel" button? Short of a life-saving kidney being available on the next page, you probably muttered a few curse words (darn it to heck! shoot!) and closed the window in frustration.

Ever try to hit "next" but the button was hiding in a remote corner of the page, as plain text, with no hint that it was an actual, clickable, tangible, useful lifeline to the next freaking page?

We don't want you to be frustrated. We want you to be informed about the law, empowered to tackle whatever legal obstacles stand in your path, and even occasionally entertained by our blogs for consumers and legal professionals.

Most of all, we want your experience to be as simple as possible. Site design, no matter how pretty, shouldn't distract you from useful content, or cause you to accidently clear data from a form. It should be so intuitive that you barely notice its presence.

In a word, we prioritize "engagement." Hence, the buttons.

After talking with our Manager of Digital Strategy and Social Media Stephanie Rahlfs (or as we like to call her, the Sultana of Social Media), it became even more clear: you, dear visitor, care about buttons. You may not know it, but the bigger and redder the button, the more likely you are to click.

How do we know? In Stephanie's words, FindLaw did a year of "obsessive button testing."

Big. Red or orange. Clear labels. Prominent placement.

Knowing what we know, we can make sure that our readers find exactly what they're looking for, whether it be a community for legal questions or listings for an eminently qualified Family Law specialist in Hannibal, Missouri (our directory shockingly has 74 in that dear, diminutive town).

Though we do love our buttons, our obsession with engagement spreads throughout the site. We test fonts, link styles, and other design elements to see what makes you tick, or click, and what helps you to find what you need.

Some might call it obsessive. We'd argue that it's a matter of caring. What else would you expect from recovering type-A lawyers?

Now go click something.

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