Tela has researched the image usage for the top 50 barrister chambers websites by analysing their homepage images and putting them into categories. Image choice is important on websites because people are visual learners and tend to look at images first before reading text. The categories we selected include colour usage, image style, photo types and whether they are sector based or stock images. We have recorded our findings in the charts below to help easily identify trends that are currently being followed on barrister chamber sites in 2021.
As the graph above shows, the most popular photo type used for the websites is buildings. Some of these are images of the chambers, giving a professional and corporate feel to their website. Many websites use images of cityscapes to help indicate the location of chambers and to help utilise the strong corporate image associated with city locations such as London.
20 out of 50 websites use people as the main focus in their imagery. Having images of people makes your website automatically seem more approachable. It shows the personal side of your business to potential clients, helping to build trust. For example, Southsquare, uses images of their barristers on their homepage, which immediately makes the page seem more friendly. A few other websites took this approach. The majority are using stock images of people on the homepage in a business environment and a separate page for their barristers and team.
We analysed the colour templates used in the imagery on each website and gathered our data into a pie chart to easily see what the most popular colours are for 2021. Colour choice in imagery can influence users emotions and subconscious behaviour. Appropriate choice in colours can influence the user’s attitude, which in turn can benefit your company.
Just over 50% of the images use neutral colour. Neutral colours often represent peace, wholesomeness and reliability which are good traits for a chamber to have. Cool tone colours are also popular with barrister chambers with just over 40% of websites using this colour scheme in their imagery. Cool colours help the user feel calm, comforted and relaxed. Blue is a popular colour choice as it has high trust value and can ease the nervous system.
Similarly to our law firm research, warm colours were least popular with only 6.1% warm colour usage throughout the websites. They can sometimes promote hostility and danger.
Types of Imagery
Tela then analysed whether the imagery used on each site was photographic, illustrative or typographic.
Similar to law firms, the most popular type of imagery used is photographic. This helps to evoke emotion with users compared to illustrative and typographic images, which can come across more impersonal. 6.5% use illustrative images such as symbols to help the user navigate through the site. Although this is less personal, if used well and links to the subject matter, it can be effective.
We looked at the colour schemes of each website’s images to see whether they were full colour, black and white or mono colour.
As expected, full colour is the most popular choice of colour schemes with 81.6%. Full colour is very eye-catching and will draw the user in right away.
14.3% of websites use monochromatic colour schemes. Mono is a colour scheme that is based on only one singular hue but varies in tone and tint. It can help create a visually cohesive look.
Similar to the data we found for law firms, black and white colour schemes are the least popular choice. Black and white images can lack emotion which is important for barrister chambers as it helps the user feel more engaged.
Mood can be communicated based on an image’s colour scheme. For example, a bright full coloured image can give the feeling of happiness compared to a dull black and white image. However, black and white can be a good choice when colour might cause a distraction from the message you want the image to portray.
Sector specific images are images that have a reference to the barrister chamber’s specialism. For example, images of their chambers, team or legal services.
As you can see from the graph above, 20 out of 50 sites use sector specific images on their site.
Use of Stock Images
Stock images are readily available images for anyone to buy and download. Rather than using a photographer yourself, you can find one that works for your website quickly and easily.
Just over 30 websites use stock images for the main banner. Quite a lot were images of cities. These photographs are readily available and easier to buy than commissioning a photographer.
By conducting this research, we were able to identify current trends within image usage for barrister chamber websites. Imagery on a website helps create better user experience. We have found that full colour photographic images are most popular as they create a more welcoming and personal feel for the user. The most popular colour templates were cool and neutral colours to help the user feel comforted and at ease.