Blog Post

Eliminating the Ping-Pong Effect — a major usability problem on law firm websites


Every legal marketer I’ve ever met agrees that website usability is paramount. Yet, nearly all law firm websites are afflicted with the same usability problem – the Ping-Pong Effect.

What’s the Ping-Pong Effect?
It’s the stomach-churning feeling you get after being bounced around a law firm website – like a ping-pong ball – in search of relevant content. For example, if you are on an attorney’s bio and want to read an article she wrote, you are sent to the firm’s “Publications” section for the full text. And if you want to watch a video, you are sent to the “multimedia” section. Good luck getting back.

The Ping-Pong Effect can be very confusing for website visitors – and studies show that when website visitors become frustrated, they leave. And here’s the kicker: the Ping-Pong Effect is becoming more acute as attorneys create more thought leadership content (as is the trend) and websites grow in size.

What’s the solution?
It’s simple: let people view an attorney’s articles, videos and case studies within that attorney’s bio section. My company built this feature into our Rainmaker-Focused Website technology platform. (I have no idea why the rest of the world hasn’t done something similar. If you have any thoughts, please leave us a comment.)

An example
Perhaps some people just don’t understand the problem – so, I have decided to illustrate the Ping-Pong Effect below. The screen captures below came from a law firm website with profound ping-pong issues (three bounces from bio to article). However, practically every law firm website suffers from the same problem.


5 comments... read them below or add one.
  1. So true Robert. The same happens when firms include links to external sites – you can’t then get back from many of them and it’s really frustrating and a barrier to wanting to find out more.

  2. Thanks Kirsten. As law firms and attorneys create more content (blog posts, articles, case studies, videos, podcasts, tweets, etc.) websites will grow, and the usability challenges will increase dramatically.

  3. Great idea. I think it’s likely that we’ll see others implementing this great idea. Rich, dynamic, and social attorney bios will beat lists of speaking engagement and professional association memberships every time.

  4. […] have to keep your viewers engaged and interested.  Dion Algeri of Great Jakes talks about the Ping-Pong Effect and this is what you don’t want when it comes to website design. The Ping-Pong Effect is when […]

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