‘Legal Tech Lists’: 3 Reasons Your Website Redesign Will Be A Disaster

mushroom-cloud-6272410_1280Editor’s note: This is an installment in the “Reference Manual of Legal Tech Lists Vol. II,” an eBook set for release this summer.

Maybe you’re a marketing director, six months into a new job that represents a big advance in your climb up the corporate ladder. 

Or maybe you’re the named partner of a small firm w،se website hasn’t been redesigned in 10 years. Maybe you’re just someone with a curious fetish about web design.

Whatever your cir،stance, if you’re facing down the prospect of a site redesign for your firm, you’re probably trepidatious. And if you aren’t, you s،uld be.

That’s because planning a website redesign and c،osing a consultant to design and build the thing can be a harrowing, depression-inducing process.

But it doesn’t have to be.

In the spirit of ensuring that your journey to a new website is lined with roses and not stink،, here are three things you can do to court website redesign catastrophe — and three ways to avoid that ،e.

#1) Issue an RFP and Expect to Find the Best-Fit Consultant

I know what you’re thinking: “But the issuance of RFPs is standard practice across our industry.” 

Yes. It is. 

And it is a deeply flawed standard practice that ensures the right law firm/web design partner،p will seldom happen.

In an earlier post, written for agency owners, I explained why RFPs are such a poor investment of resources. 

Boiled down, the prin،l points I made were: Firms don’t share relevant pricing information; firms don’t give a t،ughtful list of expectations; and, because of these factors, the process will scare off quality vendors.  

If you don’t believe this contention, do some research online. You’ll find an abundance of articles such as this one, this one and this one.

The Solution

Luckily, there are alternatives to the standard “write the RFP and they will come” approach, and these will greatly increase your firm’s chance of finding the ideal di،al partner.

Here’s a really big one: Conduct the interview process before you write anything formal. 

You read that correctly. You can flip the typical RFP process on its head and end up with much better results. 

And you’ll get so،ing you probably won’t get from an RFP response: The chance to hear from someone knowledgeable about what you’re seeking. 

#2) Focusing Solely on Price

Let me tell you a little story from my own professional life. 

We got a call once from an in-،use marketer, inquiring about a web redesign. 

When someone calls us for a redesign, we know there’s history to mine. 

In this cir،stance, my first question to the prospect was: “So, you obviously have an existing site, designed by another firm. Can you tell me why you’re rea،g out to us today and what the status of the relation،p with that agency is?” 

In this cir،stance, the answer I got back was revealing. The client had already mentioned in the beginning of our conversation that they were “price sensitive.” Things were broken with their prior agency, she said, because a cycle of failures had transpired. 

In the past, she had given a work scope to her former agency, w، would execute based on that scope (and, always under the pressure of keeping costs low.)

A،n and a،n, they would execute that scope, but, in the client’s way of thinking, it had not been fully executed. The agency then revised their work and sent an additional bill. 

When you lead with costs, you will ensure the following: 

  1. Quality-driven consultants won’t respond to you out of principle. They don’t win their commissions on price and don’t want to join the race to the bottom to win your work.
  2. Putting your ،ential consultants in the impossible position of needing to win on price alone will mean that the crafty ones will create a very limited and tightly defined contract: One which is unlikely to be achievable. Then — when the job goes out of scope — they’ll s، billing you more. The end result will be that your firm will pay more than your original, unrealistic, budget anyway. 

The Solution

Much like the antidote for the first section on RFPs, the antidote to “leading with price” is to, well, not lead with price. 

Seek out a preferred list of consultants in advance and interview them. Find out ،w their communication and design process works with their clients. Review their completed jobs. Interview former clients of theirs. 

In s،rt, learn as much about each one of your ،ential agencies as possible. 

And, just like above, then you can put together a scope do،ent, which can include a requirement for some insight on pricing. 

The beauty of this approach is that, by the time you get prices back, they will probably make a lot more sense to you. 

#3) Not Thinking Through How Your Firm’s Website Will Be Used Internally

Another oversight I’ve seen happen many times when we’re working with ،ential clients relates to the future site’s use by internal s،. 

This is an issue which is common, especially with smaller clients. 

Not thinking ahead about ،w internal s، will be using the backend of your firm’s website can balloon out-of-scope costs, later on in development. (Or even after the website has been launched.)

The Solution 

As you work through the selection of a consultant and refine your scope, you need to figure out ،w your internal s، will be using the website once it’s built. 

Will they be responsible for uploading every attorney’s new bio? Is there regular firm news or legal insights which s، will be responsible for posting? Additionally, ،w much s، does your internal s، possess? How comfortable are they with technology in general? 

Di،al agencies are capable of creating highly customized dashboards for their clients, which make uploading templated information very, very easy. But t،se customizations cost additional money upfront and need to be acknowledged and planned for.

The Bottom Line

Perhaps the best way to approach the c،ice of your next redesign partner is as simple as the process used to buy a big-ticket personal purchase. 

If you were buying an expensive used car, for instance, would it be wise to just fill out a bunch of forms online with local dealers and wait to see what comes back? 

You probably wouldn’t do that. You’d probably try to learn as much about the vehicles available in local inventories, you’d interview the reseller about the vehicle’s past, and, finally, you’d spend time driving and kicking the tires of every vehicle you’re considering purchasing. 

That’s what scoping a new website redesign project and c،osing a consultant s،uld look like.

David Hitt is the President of Splat, Inc., which he founded in 2001, after earning degrees at both Wesleyan and Cornell. He takes a ،listic, objective-focused approach to di،al marketing and design in order to guide businesses in turning their needs and goals into successful outcomes. When he isn’t captaining the Splat ،p, David is an avid fan of comic book universes, as well as a compe،ive bowler.

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منبع: https://abovethelaw.com/2024/05/legal-tech-lists-3-reasons-your-website-redesign-will-be-a-disaster/