Hadfield, Stieben & Doutt

We worked with boutique Northern Colorado personal injury law firm HSD Law on a full renovation to their digital front door.

Launch Website

The Challenge

Hadfield Stieben & Doutt, a recently formed personal injury law firm based in Fort Collins, Colorado, came to us looking for an SEO-aware design and development partner to guide them through a full website redesign. They were seeking a site that would not only bring in new business, but also communicate (visually and through writing) the local, caring, boutique qualities of their firm.

The Solution

During the initial kickoff, we identified two primary objectives for the project: 1) Ensure the site rank well in search for the most desirable keywords that would result in qualified leads, and 2) Create a user experience and content plan that would resonate with their target audience, driving them to convert.

A Content Strategy Informed by Keyword Research

Too often, we see search engine optimization treated as an afterthought: the last phase in the website redesign, tacked on once all the work is done and there’s no flexibility to make changes. Conversely, Simpatico uses keyword research (alongside our understanding of our client’s business objectives and target customers’ thought processes) to drive user experience and content strategy. For HSD, this meant a site map that includes unique pages for individual practice areas, optimized for prime keywords like “bicycle accident attorney.” However, we realized that these pages essentially need to act as alternate front doors of the website; since this will be the first page a user sees, it’s important to tell the full story of HSD, highlight their big wins, and drive visitors to conversion.

Crafting a Visual Language for HSD

We kicked off the visual design phase with a comprehensive competitor analysis. During this audit, we observed most law firms’ aesthetics felt cold and uninviting. This felt wildly off base for HSD. Not only are their clients most likely seeking comfort and assurance, HSD’s approach is notably local and personal; partner Bill Doutt commented during the kickoff that they “often bump into their clients are the grocery store,” and they often sponsor community events. We wanted to make sure the website communicated this vibe visually. Poynter Gothic, a beautiful humanist serif, conveys a comfortable and personal feel, while the warm, “Colorado” focused color palette communicates empathy, compassion, and authenticity.

An Empathy-Driven Approach to Product Feature Ideation

In our initial deep dive meetings with the HSD partners, we asked a myriad of questions to help us understand their target audience. We learned that many of their potential clients are unfamiliar with and intimidated by the complex processes and technical jargon involved in a personal injury lawsuit. An interactive ‘step by step’ module (featured on the homepage and practice area pages) demystifies potentially intimidated first time clients. This empathy also led us to the idea of creating a dynamic glossary of terms as a resource to prospective and current HSD clients. The interaction design (inspired by Sideways Dictionary) was created using animate.css, slick.js, and custom JavaScript.

Results

Following launch, HSD witnessed slow and steady growth in their organic search results. The site was also recognized by the CSS Design Awards, taking home a Special Kudos Award. The site was also voted by the public to receive the awards for Best Innovation, Best UI Design, and Best UX Design.