For some clients speed is of the essence – not so for Wards. Quality not speed was always their priority and right from the start they gave us the time to be thorough and make informed decisions.
We began by taking an in-depth look at their website statistics. This helped to identify what was working and what was getting lost. Mobile usage was a problem. Bounce rates were high. Important information was hidden out of reach. It became clear that the website was originally setup for only a small number of pages and this structure had now reached breaking point.
How information and services were grouped together needed a fresh approach. After our initial research phase, we moved onto devising a new ‘information architecture’ – a posh phrase for how information is grouped and found. We then created wireframes (sketches/simple block layouts) to map user journeys.
Once we agreed on the new structure, we applied graphics to our wireframe layouts – producing desktop, tablet and mobile mock-ups. As designers it can be easy to storm ahead and assume that clients and users think like we do – however this is not always the case. It’s important to flesh out ideas and get as much feedback as possible.
With the wireframes in place and the mock-ups complete, all that was left was to build, populate and test. Restructuring a website with 1000’s of blog posts and pages was… a challenge shall we say, but one that seems completely worth it now the website is live.
Navigation is now much more simple, with a site structure that can easily expand to accommodate more services. Users can navigate the website via a simple, consistent navigation bar. Information is more logically grouped together, with relevant links, tools and downloads accessible from each service page.
With 11 offices in Bristol and the surrounding areas, a Wards office is never far away from their target market. This may be unknown to prospective clients so we’ve included each office on a map, with detailed directions, contact details and site wide prompts to visit each office.
An important part of Wards ethos is to not only share the expertise of their staff, but also the personalised service they offer their clients. To make sure this ethos filtered through into the website we’ve featured Wards team front and centre. You can see a friendly face on almost every page of the website, with the ‘Meet the Team’ area allowing users to narrow down their search via service and office location.
We’ve also streamlined the online services offered by Wards. Clients can pay an invoice, write a will, get a conveyancing estimate or instruct Wards about personal injury and debt recovery. And if all that wasn’t enough, detailed tracking is included on all forms of communication, so we can see where enquiries are coming from which is great to monitor marketing activities.
It’s early days for this new website and we can’t wait to see the impact this has for Wards and their clients.
If you like to find out more about our the benefits of our solicitors websites, you can view our web design services for solicitors and law firms