Website Design

Minnesota State Bar

The Minnesota State Bar Association promotes the highest standards of excellence and inclusion within the legal profession, provides valued resources to its members, and strives to improve the law and the equal administration of justice for all.

Challenge

First, the MSBA site needed to be visually streamlined and engaging. The objective here was an improved user experience for both law professionals and members of the public seeking legal help. This entailed optical consistency across the platform, eliminating clutter and incongruous interface elements that might discourage new and returning users.

Secondly, the site demanded high functionality to manage a wide range of services to both 16,000 MSBA members and 5.7 million Minnesota residents. Arraying vast tranches of data within a legacy Content Management System for multiple purposes – member networking, job searches, online forms, course registrations, and legal-aid accessibility – posed a significant development task. Adding a strict requirement of flawless performance on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices, the MSBA rebuild faced the ONE400 team with a vast, technical project keyed to a built-in, varied user base.

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Strategy

We employed a full-spectrum User Experience (UX) design approach, ensuring alignment of MSBA’s vision, user needs, and preexisting technical parameters. To meet the client’s ambitious usability goals, our intensive discovery process yielded enough user data to generate Customer Journey maps, User Profiles, and deliverable User Flows. Our ongoing generation of wireframes, another UX technique, provided a further means of “storyboarding“ the design, as well as another set of deliverables for the client. A/B testing at later stages of the UX process supplied additional insights to optimize site usability.

From the outset we also used a cutting-edge Atomic Design methodology, in which design elements are stacked “bottom up” – from buttons and lone elements to dynamic units up to structures, layouts, and full templates. Proceeding in this modular, “ground-up“ style, we could efficiently bridge the gap between aesthetic, usability-focused and more technical functionality phases of the project, enhancing teamwork and adding value for the client. Atomic Design also enabled an integrated online ecosystem, allowing easier adjustments to the site without expensive recoding after launch..

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Results

We were able to improve the design and usability of the MNBar site while adhering to their unique technical constraints and without interrupting the critical services they provided their members.
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Hunter Collins, Director of Technology
ONE400

We were able to improve the design and usability of the MNBar site while adhering to their unique technical constraints and without interrupting the critical services they provided their members.

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mobile view frame
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On the usability side, existing and new customers report highly rewarding engagement with the aesthetically striking website we built for the client. Visual consistency across all pages and touchpoints of the site contributes to a welcoming, unified visitor experience, in which disorienting, contrasting templates and page designs have been eliminated.

The goal of enhanced functionality has been met with solid information architecture and reliable operation. Bar members can easily pay dues online through an improved e-commerce portal, register for Continuing Law Education courses, view schedules for association events, and network with fellow members. Non-members – the general public – now have ready access to a wide range of attorneys, pro bono services, and self-help clinics. Both sets of users can also easily find legal forms and documents. Crucially, excellent functionality for mobile devices was achieved, a key priority.

In quantitative terms, the new design correlates directly with increases in user retention and new visitors, results that speak for themselves. Through adherence to the UX design process, the ONE400 team delivered an exceptional product embodying the client’s vision and purpose.

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