NZ Law Society Website transformation

How does the New Zealand Law Society better support the public and over 12,000 lawyers and members of the legal profession through an improved website experience?

Project details

Client

  • NZ Law Society

Visit

  • lawsociety.org.nz

Industry

  • Professional services

Role

  • Product strategy
  • Content strategy
  • Information architecture
  • CMS training
  • Design systems
  • Responsive web design
  • Experience design
  • Illustration
  • Web development
  • API integrations
  • Web services / middleware
  • Cloud infrastructure
  • DevOps
  • Managed services platform
  • Accessibility
  • Security
  • Performance
  • Functional testing
  • Automated testing
  • Proactive support services
  • Reactive support services
  • Search engine optimisation
  • Analytics

Technologies

  • Solr
  • React
  • SilverStripe
  • Nutch
  • Google Marketing Platform
  • Bespoke APIs

The challenge

Lawyers play a pivotal role in a functioning democracy. Through ongoing law reform and the provision of legal services, the legal profession protects and facilitates New Zealanders’ access to justice. The New Zealand Law Society (NZLS) is at the heart and forefront of the profession, leading the way through quality regulation, and by publishing influential thinking and content every week.

The NZLS key purposes are the regulation of lawyers to maintain public confidence in the provision of legal services and for the protection of consumers, leadership and maintenance of integrity and reputation of the legal profession, and delivery of a range of collegial and professional services to maintain and develop the strength of the profession and to support its effective development and operation.

The NZLS website is the organisation’s primary communication and engagement channel. It serves the needs of over 12,000 lawyers and members of the legal profession, and also publishes and maintains the register of lawyers (aka ‘Registry’) and providing the popular ‘Find a lawyer’ search service to a public audience.

NZLS engaged Diagram, an independent digital strategy consultancy to help them define a 'future state' for how NZLS wants to communicate and engage with the public and the profession. This Future State proposed how the Law Society’s website could better support public users and lawyers, how its services could be better delivered, and how its technology infrastructure needs to evolve to support these improvements.

Catch was selected to redesign and build the NZLS website, which included a new IA, UX and visual design that enabled NZLS to take a quantum leap forward from its current website, which was almost 10 years old.

Several goals were identified for the new website, including becoming the home of legal news, trust and confidence, ease and transparency, personalisation, ease of content management and a future proofed technical solution.

The solution

The project was split into two phases: Discovery and Delivery.

Discovery is crucial to a project's success—it's about uniting the entire team around one clear outcome: To gain a common understanding of scope and what needs to be done during Delivery. We use this phase to explore the problem space, confirm business objectives and desired outcomes, gain a deep understanding of NZLS, all key stakeholders and customer needs, and clarify scope and requirements before any detailed design and development takes place.

A prioritised roadmap of clear deliverables informed our delivery plan, which included a new information architecture (IA), human-centered user experience (UX) design of core customer journeys, design, development, testing and go-live.

A refreshed NZLS brand informed a brand new NZLS design system, which matured as the detailed designs were created and tested with real users.

The new website was built on SilverStripe, hosted and supported on Catch's enterprise grade AWS Managed Platform product.

Because the solution was so flexible and scalable we were also able to extend SilverStripe's asset management and "on the fly" image resampling to provide a fully integrated Digital Asset Management Solution (DAMS). The DAMS is able to store an unlimited amount of high-res assets that can be used both by the public facing website and internally by the design team at NZLS.

The results

The the new website was launched mid-2020. Their internal communications team can easily update and managed content across a broad cross-section of content creators and business units within the organisation.

The website is future-proofed for ongoing improvements in how NZLS delivers communications and services.