Meet the new martindale.com

by Jon Lin on June 29, 2010 · 0 comments

in Martindale-Hubbell News,martindale.com,social media for lawyers

Notice something different when you visited martindale.com lately?  That is because after many months in the planning, design, and development, we released our first major redesign of the site in over 2½ years.  This is the first of a series of upgrades to the interface coming out over the next couple of months.

Redesigning a website is never a small undertaking.  One of the primary motivations behind doing so is to better integrate the martindale.com and Martindale-Hubbell Connected experiences.  People often think of martindale.com and Martindale-Hubbell Connected as 2 separate sites.  With a different page design and even a different name, it is easy to see how users were getting confused.  Connected is the community area of martindale.com and intended to be an upgraded martindale.com experience when you are signed in to the site.  It’s everything you can do on martindale.com, but more and better.  Like a martindale.com on steroids (but minus all of the bad side effects).

What you see on the site is the result of lots of user feedback and iterative usability testing over the past few months.  This type of testing is critical because what we think as intuitive and easy to understand will almost never be once you put a design in front of real users.  Small, seemingly insignificant tweaks to wording, colors, and placement of items on the screen can make huge differences in a user experience.

First thing you’ll notice is the new color palette and overall aesthetic.  No more different looks between pages on the site.

Global Navigation and Search Bar

We reorganized all of the content on martindale.com into a new global navigation providing easy access to any area of the site.  Currently, the Connected navigation bar disappears once the user clicks to a non-community page like a law firm profile page.  Also appearing prominently on every page is the new Search bar.  We’re most excited about the new Groups & Topics search capability, which allows the user to find all topical content on the site including user-generated content from blogs, forums, and file uploads, group and blog names, as well as over 43,000 documents from the martindale.com Legal Library.

Member Profiles

The structure of the Connected member profile has been changed to more prominently surface content beyond the traditional “resume”-type information important to painting a complete picture of a member.  This includes the Peer Review and Client Reviews Ratings of lawyer as the member’s posts and contributions on the site.  Later this year, a similar design will be applied to the public lawyer profiles on martindale.com.

Changes to Groups and Blogs Visibility

In response to user feedback, we’ve given members a new option through blogs and public groups to have their content visible to all site visitors, regardless of whether or not they have signed in as Connected members.  Private and confidential group privacy options will still be available to those who want to keep their information out of the public eye.  In addition, group owners have the ability to create sub-groups underneath another group.

The new features and enhancements are too numerous to detail out here so go ahead and start exploring the new site.  If you have any feedback, feel free to join the discussion in the Connected Member Support group.  Or, if you would like to help us design our future releases, join us in the Connected Design Think Tank.  We look forward to hearing from you!

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