Fast, Easy, and Personal Access to Legal Aid
Making Complex Content Strategy and Architecture Simple for Users
The new website features a Guided Help section that takes users through a step-by-step questionnaire. Users can input topic, location, income, and demographic information to receive tailored results. Users can also skip the personalization funnel and go directly to specific information by browsing the Information Library, which is broken out into primary topics and subsections using intuitive naming and navigation. This intuitive language strategy includes how content was written and displayed on the site; the team used natural language phrasing and terminology as much as is possible to make the experience accessible and friendly to the public. As the site's tagline says, "The Legal System Can Feel Overwhelming. We're Here to Make Things Easier."
This content architecture is actually quite complex behind-the-scenes, but works seamlessly for the user. Every piece of content can be connected to other child and parent pages not only within topical landing pages, but also within the Guided Help questionnaire. Users can choose the path that makes the most sense to them: start with topics and work down into specific scenarios that are most relevant, or use the Guided Help section to answer demographic and income questions to customize content results. In either case, users remain anonymous to protect their privacy, which is critically important especially when asking users to answer personal questions about income and location.
We worked closely with the Oregon Law Help team to advance multilingual in innovative ways. Because of the nature of legal information, simply relying on machine translation was not a viable option. Instead, we incorporated manual translation files that were automatically uploaded by human translators and adjusted as needed to meet a high-fidelity, multilingual standard. As the website grows and new topics and content are incorporated, additional languages will come online.
Decoupled with Next-Drupal
The new site performs at lightning speed thanks to its decoupled Next-Drupal front-end. It includes a fairly sophisticated implementation of multilingual using Next. This required some additional work, as it was not only content (like nodes or taxonomies) that needed to be translatable, but also a multitude of form fields and components distributed throughout the site.
Design Identity & Logo: Approachable
Design-wise, we began with a series of working sessions that helped define the personality of the site: approachable, local and credible. This led to the use of friendly iconography and a color palette that reflects the state of Oregon. Imagery was deemphasized in favor of a large icon library to help users focus on the content. Seeking legal advice is often a stressful experience. Users need quick access to content, delivered in a very accessible and simple way, and this principle helped govern the clean, clear design throughout the site.
We also developed a new logo to signify the creation of this reimagined legal resource. The old site had no specific identity and this project presented an opportunity to reintroduce Oregon Law Help as a truly new effort to bring content and legal resources to the public. The new logo is simple, integrates the site's color palette, and suggests the creation of connections to information that the new site provides.
Fast, visually appealing, and easy to navigate, the new Oregon Law Help website is a significant improvement over its predecessor, and one that raises the bar for legal aid sites nationwide. If you like what you see on this site and would like something similar for your organization, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact us and get us working for you!