Rathje & Woodward, LLC Redesign

 

Design Challenge

 

Rathje & Woodward, LLC is a full service law firm with offices in Illinois and Wisconsin. They are looking to have their website redesigned for better usability, more focused practice areas and a bolder color scheme. They also want to highlight their years of service and national presence.

 

Results

 

A new website with a modern look and updated navigation/practice areas, design, content and imagery.

Some of the new website features include:

 

Firm history section was added so they can explain they were established in 1938 and have deep roots in the community. The firm affiliations are also in this area and links to their news and events page.

Primary practice area categories are featured with photos of each one and an areas for supportive text.
Engaging contextual photos/videos to increase interest in reading more
Attorney section has a serious photo of the attorneys and supportive text to explain they are hard hitting litigator’s
Featured section for pending cases with map of USA and dots to show the cases
Strong calls-to-action to provide clear direction to convert users to leads
Content and visuals are balanced on the page for better user experience
Modern, balanced, responsive design to build brand trust

 

Initial Research

 

I reviewed the firm’s current website and noticed there were usability issues, value proposition/headline was weak, calls to action should be stronger and used more throughout the site. The firm history and practice area categories should also be featured better with visuals to draw the eye.

 

 

The firm had several professional photos taken, so I went through the images to see what would work the best within the design.

 

 

Initial Wireframe Sketches

 

After a few discussions and site map approval, I started sketching ideas of what the website could look like. I wanted to highlight the firm history and practice areas. They wanted to look like hard hitting litigators so I used their professional photos to show them working on cases with a serious tone.

 

 

Initial Prototype

 

The new layout has a modern look with focused value propositions/headlines and supportive imagery. The firm history and practice area categories are featured out with visuals to draw attention. The whole design layout has better balance between content and visuals. There are also more calls to action throughout the site.

 

The color scheme compliments the colors in the firm logo. Blue is also associated with stability and symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom and confidence, which is what this firm represents with their years of service and deep roots in the community. I used a lot of white space throughout the design for usability and readability of the content.

 

The top banner of the practice area pages will have the photo that corresponds with each area that was used on the home page. This provides a nice visual for the user as they are reading the content about that practice area.

 


 

Final Approved Prototypes

 

In the final layout of the home page, I updated the top banner photo to a stock image of a busy office to give a larger firm feel. The firm wanted to highlight the News & Events, Firm Blog and Our Attorneys, so I created a call out section and added icons next to each of them to make them more prominent and to help draw users to them.