Access Pro Bono is a small independent organization doing great things: they promote access to justice by delivering quality legal services for free to those of limited means. Their diverse and community-minded team relies on thousands of legal service volunteers who are equally committed to fostering equity and justice through equal access and representation.
Meeting people where they are
Access Pro Bono initially engaged us for the design and development of a new website that would improve user experience and operational efficiency. Contending with an outdated design, they were looking for a site that would reflect their updated branding as well as meet modern standards in accessibility and mobile optimization.
In addition, their content needs had outgrown their existing site. With multiple key audiences, there were growing opportunities for the site and a desire to better understand the objectives and user journeys of each group. Users were having a difficult time finding the information that was relevant to them, and in some cases, there was more information needed but no way to deliver it on the site as it was.
Know your audience
Our first priority was to address the navigation challenges, so we conducted discovery workshops and card sorting exercises to identify where the content gaps were as well as where information was just hard for users to find. We worked with the client to explicitly define their audiences and more deeply understand their audiences’ needs so that the plan for the new site’s information architecture would ensure that key content was surfaced appropriately.
By presenting clear top-level entry points for each of the four primary audiences - clients, volunteer lawyers, other non-profit legal service providers and donors - we created a smooth user experience that would allow site visitors to easily discover content related to their needs. Our solution was also developed with both external and internal users in mind. To ease the client onboarding process, we introduced a robust intake form that allows engaged users to provide vital information to determine if they qualify for pro bono services. For those who don’t qualify, they are immediately provided with alternative options for other free legal service providers and resources. This solution elegantly addresses one of Access Pro Bono’s key operational priorities by reducing reliance on their staff for telephone support during client onboarding, diverting calls from their voicemail to their inbox.
Built to Scale
Because the client had come to us facing challenges with scalability, it was important that we developed a solution that would be able to grow with them. We built the new site on Drupal, and factored future needs into all key phases of the project, so that both the information architecture and the technology can expand with the organization.
The new website not only serves the needs of its direct users, but also serves as an introduction to all of Access Pro Bono’s services, recognizing that their digital ecosystem is as expansive as their services and volunteer network. After the launch of the main site, we developed a new site for their Everyone Legal Clinic - an innovative learning centre deeply committed to access to justice. Using the main site as the foundation for the second site created an affordable solution that leveraged the functionality of the original build, while also delivering a design in keeping with Everyone Legal Clinics distinct brand.
Access Pro Bono has become a valued client and we are grateful to be able to support their organization, their volunteers and the people they serve through ongoing enhancements to their digital platforms.