How to build a better website: A case study with TLAP
Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program
What makes a website high-quality? It’s design is both beautiful and usable. It offers information that’s helpful, yet fresh and personal. It’s technically sound, easy to navigate and urges visitors to take action. Our work with the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program (or, “TLAP”) is a case study in website design and development. The organization approached us with an outdated, seldom-visited website and left with a property that offers resources and support to those who need it.
Legal professionals are more vulnerable to substance abuse and mental health issues than the average population, because few occupations are as stressful. Rather than letting these emotional problems go untreated, TLAP provides counseling and support so their colleagues have a place to turn when they need help.
Many judges, attorneys and law students would visit TLAP’s website, but never reach out because they didn’t know how the program worked, or were concerned that this information might be used in a way that might hurt their careers. How could TLAP let more legal professionals know about their assistance programs in a way that was confidential, respectful and comforting?
TLAP contacted Centresource to help with a simple site update, but our agency saw a bigger opportunity: to bring TLAP’s mission online. To create a better online presence for TLAP, Centresource re-thought all of the essential elements of a great website:
It was important to capture the human element of TLAP and inspire hope in site visitors. To do this, Centresource selected a bright color palette and incorporated photography throughout the site. A custom video also was created for the homepage, delivering TLAP’s message through a more dynamic, powerful medium.
Navigation & UX
Site visitors need to be able to easily navigate a website and find the information they’re looking for. While TLAP’s old site was copy-heavy and flat, the new site allows users to quickly jump to the most helpful sections based on their specific situation.
Mental health issues can be confusing and difficult to discuss, but TLAP’s site offers clear and simple answers to each visitor’s most important questions. Whereas the old TLAP website presented a daunting list of resources, the new site tells a story and extends a helpful hand - no matter the situation.
The ultimate goal of the TLAP site is to allow legal professionals to reach out anonymously and begin the process of receiving the assistance they need. Centresource turned TLAP’s static contact pages into portal that facilitate this outreach. Now, there are different forms for scheduling, intake, referrals and volunteers throughout the site that offer a less intrusive way for visitors to contact TLAP.
Quality websites aren’t just pretty on the front-end; they’re also easy to manage on the back-end. Centresource built the new TLAP website on a custom content management system (“CMS”), allowing the group to easily make site updates without involving a developer.