Clarion – Website Review
Clarion – a law firm which offers more. So says their not-so-long-ago revamped website, and if the new site is anything to go by then they probably do. “Good morning! How can we help you?”. Nice touch, I’m already wondering that myself.
First Impressions – The Clarion Homepage:
It looks amazing but is it too chaotic? I’m nudging towards no, certainly ‘above the fold’ it isn’t, what with the clear distinction between the business and the personal sections of the site beckoning you in. Does it immediately scream “law firm”? No, but it doesn’t need to, and that’s obviously the point. They’re there to help your business or your life, that’s the point. I can imagine that when this design was first pitched there were those within the firm that thought it was some kind of ghastly joke, like being told that they were outsourcing the mail room jobs to trained gibbons in Leeds Zoo. But they needn’t have worried, it’s a triumph.
Finding Your Way – Navigation: One of my favourite things about this site is the way that when the user scrolls down the page, the header area minimises and scrolls into view as a smaller version of itself. That sounds like gibberish so check it out here. This makes navigating the site easier when reading content on some of the longer pages. Although the homepage ‘smart’ search is not so smart (type in Alice and ‘Alice Pratt’ who sits just below the search box on the homepage doesn’t appear) the ‘Our Team’ search is easy to use and rather nice to watch as the Google+ style circles rearrange themselves. There are also subtle prompts all over the site to “Choose a Service” or “Drop us a line”. They’re not intrusive but I certainly noticed them.
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Content: Lots and lots of blog posts, all well written if lacking what you might call charm. When you have a funky website that wishes you a good morning, asks you to drop them a line etc, it might be nice to see some informality also creep into the rest of the site. I don’t expect gags but the copy in places is a bit dry in comparison to the visual presentation. It’s a minor point. The photo headshots are all consistent and well done (amazingly well-done by law firm standards) and there are videos for many of the practice area sections, although the wood panelling is again on show (note to lawyers – wood panelling belongs in sheds and saunas, not offices).
Getting Social – Clarion and Social Media: They have a LinkedIn page, Twitter page and YouTube channel. You can share all their blog posts on Twitter or LinkedIn (although not Facebook – odd for a firm blogging on a range of issues that affect everybody) and readers can comment using a range of social sign-in options. Does this make them a ‘social’ firm – I’m not sure. Their Twitter page is not exactly setting the world on fire.
Conclusion: Beautiful, beautiful site, a truly inspiring vision of how law firms should be shaping their online presence. Kudos to the agency and to Clarion themselves for being bold.
What are your thoughts?