Archive for the ‘Skunkworks Agency News’ Category
The Canadian Bar Association’s National Magazine recently published their inaugural survey of Canada’s best law firm websites in a feature article in their December 2009 issue and I am proud to report that Skunkworks client Bull, Housser & Tupper LLP took home two awards – one for the best law firm website in British Columbia and a second for the best student recruitment website nationally.
In making their determination, the magazine asked a panel of nine legal technology professionals, including web designers and consultants, for their views and rankings, including Skunkworks’ own Client Services Director Marni Macleod, LL.B. (Fans of due process can rest assured however that Marni was duly excluded from pitching or voting for our own work). You can read more of Marni’s thoughts about what makes a good legal website on our agency blog and download a pdf of the full National article here.
Turning to the blogosphere, on New Year’s Eve Stem Legal’s Steve Matthews also announced this year’s winners in the 2009 Clawbie Awards, where two more Skunkworks’ clients fared well. David Bilinsky’s Thoughtful Legal Management blog and the Courthouse Libraries BC’s new blog The Stream were winner and runner-up respectively in their categories.
In reviewing all of the winning entries in both the Clawbies and the National article, I am heartened by how far legal marketing on the web has come in this country over the past decade. The depth of content, the overall level of design, the adoption of current technology and the resulting competitive differentiation that the leading firms display as we enter 2010 makes me excited for what’s to come in the year(s) ahead. My congratulations to all of the firms and lawyers recognized in these recent awards.
Courthouse Libraries BC have just launched their new website. The revamped online presence can be found at courthouselibrary.ca and represents a completely fresh take on how the organization interacts with its user base on the web. In addition to a significantly updated design, key features of the new site include:
* Integrated search – a single, powerful search application that can search any or all of 10 different library sources (e.g. the library catalogue, their in-house “asked & answered” database, their unreported decisions database, etc.);
* Practice Portals- practice-specific hubs designed to provide practitioners’ with ready access to key resources, texts, legislation, leading authorities and recent news in a single environment. There are five practice portals initially (Civil litigation, Family law, Personal Injury, Wills & Estates, and Practice Management & Technology) with plans already underway to add more;
* User Accounts individual user accounts that can save preferences, order histories and searches;
* News filtering by practice area – self-explanatory; and
* A new blog, “The Stream” which will serve as a platform for Library staff to provide their insight and commentary on law and legal research developments relevant to British Columbia lawyers.
Also of key importance in my view is that CLBC’s extensive involvement in the development and operation of a separate (and excellent) legal information site geared specifically to the public – CLICKLAW – has enabled the organization to focus the new Courthouselibary.ca site squarely on the needs of practicing lawyers. While both sites are fully accessible to anyone, separating out the offerings to cater more specifically to their respective user bases can only result in better user experiences across the board.
Skunkworks is proud to have been involved in several aspects of this project although full credit goes to our friends at Habanero Consulting Group for the top-notch site build and to the Courthouse Libraries’ team for their vision both in engaging in extensive user consultation and research into what users wanted from a new library website and in their willingness to explore new approaches and priorities even where such choices represented fundamental shifts away from established library processes. It’s accepted wisdom in marketing circles that brave clients make for interesting work. For me, this has been a textbook example of exactly that.
Skunkworks is currently working with our friends at the BC Courthouse Library Society to obtain user input and feedback in preparation for the redevelopment of the Courthouse Library website. One component of the process is a short 3-minute web survey for B.C. lawyers that will help us assess technology and online usage patterns for this key user demographic. Survey participants will also be entered to win one of two 8G iPod Touch music player/portable internet devices. Help us help the library build a better website by taking the survey today. You can access the survey here: