Barrister profile pages are one of the key conversion pages on a chambers website, therefore it is important to maximise these pages with good quality content and profile images.
Different styles of imagery can have a huge effect on the profile pages. Tela has completed research into the top 50 barristers’ chambers websites profile image usage to discover what is currently trending.
Please note, this is a research piece. Not all of the top 50 Barristers Chambers websites have been designed and developed by Tela.
We analysed each websites’ profile imagery based on the following categories:
- Colour scheme: Are they in colour or black and white?
- Image style: Have they been cut out? Do they have a depth of field (blurred background)? Have they used a backdrop/formal background?
- Positioning: Are they face on, side on or looking away from the camera?
- Expression: Are they happy, serious, concentrating or empathetic?
- Are they standardised?: Do all the images look the same or are some positioned/taken differently?
Then looking specifically at the top 50 barristers’ chambers websites, we reviewed their profile imagery and placed them accordingly into the correct categories in order to see if a particular style of photo was trending.
Why we did it
As an agency, one of the main questions raised at the start of a website development project is ‘what do we do with the barristers’ profile images?’ Because the style of imagery can dictate the look and feel of the webpage, it is important that the profile images are considered early on. Thus ensuring that the user interface (UI) and profile images can be tailored on the web page suitably.
We wanted this research to give chambers, looking to develop their websites, a bit of a head start. Looking at what competitors are doing in terms of their profile images and identifying trends within the industry can give a direction to head towards when deciding if the chambers wants to follow popular trends or use different styles of imagery and photography.
What we found
We analysed each website’s profile imagery colour scheme to see whether they display their images in colour or black and white.
As we thought, the majority (86%) of the barrister websites use colour throughout their profile images. Colour can have a huge impact on your site. It helps evoke emotion, making the barristers seem more friendly.
We recorded the data we found about image style in the graph below. As you can see, the results were very close and there was not a specific trend in this category.
Cut out images are photos where the person has been removed from its background onto a translucent or coloured background instead. This can be done using various design softwares such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. It helps keep consistency throughout the profile images, making the design look sleek.
36% of the chambers websites use cut out profile images. These create a uniformed, professional design. An advantage of using this image style is that it makes it easy for new members to be added easily, to fit the design of the existing images.
A good example of a chambers website that uses cut out images is 4 Pump Court. They removed the background completely to create a translucent background for a consistent design.
Depth of field
Depth of field is the distance between the closest and furthest objects that are sharp in an image, controlling what appears in focus and what is blurred. 34% of the chambers’ sites have a large depth of field and therefore have a blurred background. This puts a large focus on the person in the photograph and doesn’t distract attention elsewhere.
Brick Court Chambers is a good example of a chambers that use depth of field in their profile images. Although the backgrounds are slightly different, the design looks harmonious and the focus is on the people.
28% of the barrister chambers use professional backdrops or a plain wall to take their profile images. This is another way to have the same background for each image but not have to cut the images out. However, sometimes lighting can impact the photographs so they might not be all identical and the backgrounds can have some discolouration. For example, Atkin Chambers use a dark grey backdrop to take their images.
When reviewing each website, we looked at how the barristers were positioned when they took their photographs and recorded the results in a graph below.
Side-on positioning was most common, with 84% of the websites using this positioning throughout their profile images, but looking at the camera. This creates a more flattering angle and looks less harsh than face on. For example, you can see this in 2 Bedford Row’s website shown below.
Only a couple of websites (8%) used images of their people looking away, such as Outer Temple Chambers, below. These images are seen as more natural and candid, which allows more personality to come through.
There is a lasting power in first impressions, therefore expression in a photo is very important in creating a good impression on a barrister’s profile. We found that on each website, there were profile images of people smiling and displaying happiness which makes the chambers seem friendly and approachable. 14% of chambers use a mixture of expressions throughout their site and have both images of people looking serious and smiling.
Matrix Chambers use a mixture of expressions throughout their members’ pages, with some people smiling and others looking more serious, as screenshotted below.
46% of the websites use standardised images, this is where they follow the same style and design throughout their profile pages and are therefore consistent.
Exchange Chambers use standardised images. From the screenshot below, you can see they have all been taken in front of the same backdrop, at the same height and size and use the same positioning throughout.
Profile images help your chambers be seen as genuine and dependable. It’s important to see a friendly face so you’re seen as approachable, as well as having qualifications and case studies. It helps break up a page full of facts and information with a more personal feel.
By conducting this research, we have been able to identify trends within barrister chambers profile imagery. Coloured profile images are most popular as they bring more personality to an image. Cut out images, closely followed by images with a depth of field are popular image styles as they look very professional and help images look uniform. Happy expressions are very important as they bring confidence, and trust, allowing potential clients to feel reassured.