California Law Review in two laptops

Background & Vision

The California Law Review (CLR) is one of the premier law reviews – not just on the West Coast – but in the entire US. However, their previous site didn’t reflect this.

On the old site, it was difficult for staff members to enter content. Worse, it was tough for readers to explore the high-quality work staff members spent months revising and publishing. (And what good is content if it’s not read?) This was a major problem for the publication site.

It wasn’t the only problem, either. In our Discovery phase with CLR, we discovered they needed a new site that could:

  • Allow visitors to easily download and share published content
  • Enable administrators to add content, make edits, and insert footnotes
  • Communicate the authority of CLR publications to readers
 California Law Review in an ipad

A Prestigious Design

With the Law Review’s reputation, we weren’t looking to design a site that’d convince someone of their authority. Rather, we were looking to complement CLR’s well-established name and credibility. To do so, we chose a color palette that’s:

  • consistent with Berkely’s brand guidelines
  • conducive to long bouts of reading
  • complimentary to CLR’s prestige

We also made sure the color palette we chose – and the way we implemented it – kept reader focus on content. Our team wanted to support reader immersion, not distract from it.

Sorting Content Types

One of the larger development challenges with CLR was sorting and organizing their content archives. The Law Review publishes excellent content both online and in print. Each format has its own archive and its own type of content.

To organize this, we separated posts into two separate post types: online posts and print posts. This allowed the CLR staff to develop a unique set of categories for each content type, as well as display different forms of meta-data for print vs. online posts. Other improvements we made included:

  • Creating a way to automatically add a table of contents to long posts
  • Adding and displaying footnotes
  • Creating a better way to track and store legacy content, such as mastheads
 California Law Review in two iphones

The Result

California Law Review’s site now reflects their premier position in the legal world, plus gives readers maximum access to their content. Followers can more easily browse, read, and share content, while site administrators can more easily publish and organize their work.

Sara Cannon is a UX/UI Designer, Former Business Owner, Creative Director, & Artist remote working in Birmingham, Alabama. 
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