MacDonald Hoague & Bayless
Legal Website for Seattle-Based Law Firm Specializing in Immigration and Civil Rights
Law firm MacDonald Hoague & Bayless has an established reputation of taking on (and winning) big, important cases related to immigration, civil rights, fair housing, criminal defense, and more. They’ve been involved with a number of key social justice issues since the firm's founding over 60 years ago. Their work regularly involves defending American ideals on behalf of those who want to live and be employed in the United States as well as helping individuals and corporate clients fight for their civil rights and liberties.
MHB works in a variety of fields; they wanted their website to reflect a look and feel that’s both professional and approachable without alienating any potential audience groups. In early conversations we also discussed the importance of highlighting the credibility of the MHB team and encouraging viewer confidence in their ability to cater to the needs of individual and corporate clients alike.
In addition, we knew our design needed to present MHB’s wealth of information in a clean and cohesive way while also focusing on making the user journey around the site as organic as possible.
Design Inspirations and Achievements
We began our design work by refreshing the MHB logo; we opted to leave behind the former “academic” rusty red and instead feature a fresher, more youthful teal color.
Our team then used this hue as an accent color throughout the site; it’s well complemented by the primary font color—a sophisticated soft charcoal that is at once professional and easy to read. Around the site, large and varied fonts—we employed both serif and sans-serif styles—add a sense of interest and modernity to each page and ease the content digestion process.
Bold imagery is filtered over with brand colors and used as sectional backgrounds across the site to add visual appeal to important informational blocks. We also increased the size of the homepage masthead and turned it into a slider to give the MHB team more real estate to share textual snapshots of who the firm is and what it does, giving visitors a real sense of MHB’s culture and values.
To drive home MHB’s mission and dedication to the community, we designed and developed a “History” page that features a bold, dynamic timeline of the firm’s many successes and landmark cases. Sections representing each year open up into additional information blocks on click, making the page both informational and engaging while highlighting the qualifications of the firm’s members. Spanning the firm’s full history since its 1952 foundation, the photos featured on the timeline are in black and white which helps bring a sense of the firm’s deep roots in civil rights litigation to the screen.
Website Development Successes
As part of the website development process, we transferred all blog posts from their previous site’s archive to the new site and established 301 redirects to maintain the site’s SEO standing.
We also helped restructured of the site's architecture, with a focus on the blog and Practice Areas. By developing the website on FusionCMS—a content management system that allows for near infinite customization options—we were able to create connections across different areas of the site and easy the user journey.
On the blog pages, for example, we added a feature that gives the MHB team the ability to directly link posts to a staff detail page. Likewise, they can generate links between their service pages and staff profiles. Allowing for simple-to-maintain connections between all these areas of the website is not only good for navigation, it also improves the domain’s SEO health.
On a whole, the new MHB website is easier to explore, more accessible, highly informative, and even interactive. It was a pleasure working with a local business so dedicated to their clients.
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