Disclaimers on websites are an important aspect of any website design. A disclaimer can be one of two things: an in-article disclaimer and a site-wide disclaimer. Designing the disclaimers is not an easy task, neither one that you can take lightly. In this piece, we are going to look at designing website disclaimers the right way so that they do their job effectively and without hampering the user experience.
Common key points
Color psychology plays an important role in web design. A disclaimer should ideally be disruptive. If your website is mainly white and blue, let’s say, an orange or red disclaimer will work best. If your website is solid colored (dark mode, for example), a white disclaimer box might be the best option.
Apart from that, you can accentuate disclaimer boxes or designs with shadows, different fonts, extra margins or paddings, thick borders, or the use of background images.
Disclaimers that are absolutely critical, such as “website undergoing maintenance so it’s accepting no new sign-ups”, for example, need to be sufficiently separated from everything else.
Other disclaimers such as “the products shown on a website might differ slightly from the actual delivered products” need to be small as they are, for the most part, insignificant to most customers.
Consequently, if a disclaimer not worth the urgency breaks the user’s natural flow of action on your website, then it is ultimately breaking your website’s user experience.
Legal disclaimers are also critical to user profiles in many cases. Below we will discuss in-article and site-wide disclaimers, but you should also know about adding them on profiles. For example, adding a legal disclaimer for Chaturbate profile.
So, let’s have a look at how to best design and implement disclaimers on websites.
In-article disclaimers are disclaimers that you place inside your content, body text, article, or post. These disclaimers usually only apply to the page on which they appear. Depending on the nature of information kept within such disclaimers, they should be designed with a varying level of urgency in mind.
For example, if it’s a disclaimer that shipping for a particular product is slower than usual, then probably an orange disclaimer set in relatively smaller font size can suffice. But if it’s about something more urgent or serious, such as a payment method not working, it can be shown in red.
Site-wide disclaimers can be things such as:
- Expect slow deliveries due to rain in your area.
- The support staff is busy due to [some reason].
- We are not processing refunds for all [type of] products.
And so on.
Site-wide disclaimers are important to notify the customers of what to expect, and what not to.
These disclaimers should be non-invasive given how they will be present on all pages. If a user sees the same red glaring notice on all pages, it tires their eyes and makes them want to leave the website.
Site-wide disclaimers should also be dismissible. Once a user has read it, they should be able to dismiss it, information of which is stored in the local cookies.