Founded 1969, Chambers & Partners are the market leader in providing rankings for lawyers throughout the world. They produce 20,000 copies of each of their main 8 guides as well as a huge number of other guides and related products. Produced by a team of over 150 researchers, no other organisation has the strength in depth of the Chambers editorial.
The key objective of the brief was to dramatically enhance and improve the users experience of the Chambers & Partners website and to improve and modernise the visual design.
Along side the design brief was a need to commercialise the content and traffic within the website, ultimately with the objective of increasing revenue generated by the website. This was to be achieved by promoting their paid for content as well as enhancing their content offering.
Chambers & Partners were maintaining separate mobile and desktop versions of their websites. This was proving resource intensive to manage, so we were also briefed with developing the new website to be mobile responsive, simplifying the management and reducing the operational costs.
Considering the primary brief was to redesign the website, improving its visual impact and to re-think the users journey, enhancing the user experience, we quickly discovered that this was not as simple as it may initially seem. There was a risk that by creating more logical and usable ways of exploring the content, the business case and revenue generation opportunities would be negatively impacted.
The real challenge was therefore to both champion the user, whilst also considering all the commercial aspects of the website.
Another challenge with this project was translating a traditional paper based publication into a coherent online experience. Here it can appear simple to just repurpose content, the reality is that paper based publications do not always translate into coherent online experiences….often there are gaps in the flow that work in one medium but not in another.
The final challenge was that whilst there was a strong desire to modernise, there was another contradictory requirement which was to embody the heritage and prestige that was embodied within the Chambers and Partners brand. Here we needed to strike a balance and to ensure we did not throw the baby out with the bath water.
We obviously learned a lot more than we expected to about the legal profession and the ranking of firms and lawyers, however we love the opportunity to dive in a learn about new things - this is most enjoyable aspect of working in an agency.
From a design perspective, the result is obviously a cleaner, more modern design which builds and focuses the Chambers & Partners brand and heritage. Time was spent to establish the Chambers USP, highlighting their research team which is a large differentiator compared to competitors.
More importantly, the users journey has been dramatically improved, creating a more intuitive journey, whilst at the same time optimising existing revenue generation channels. Paid for content such as the news and directory is no longer buried deep within the website - these have been given their own sections promoted from the home page as well as the main navigation.
The design/layout put the mobile user first, ensuring that the users experience was as optimised across both mobile and desktop, ensuring the journey into the valuable content was as intuitive as it could be.
Whilst the end result is an improved visual design and enhanced user journey, the real teller will be how well Chambers is able to capitalise on the new revenue generation opportunities that are designed into their new online framework.