New Illinois Legal Aid Website
Last week Illinois Legal Aid Online Launched their new website that was built in house over 22 months. This new site is a big improvement on previous incarnations, you can compare it to older iterations using the Wayback Machine here.
The first thing that jumps out is their clean layout. The use of whitespace, pictures, and dividers to avoid overwhelming the user when they first hit the landing page. They have put a lot of time into UX and user testing and it shows. The next thing that is worth noticing is the page makes it easy to find what you are looking for, a few of the popular topics have been put onto the front page with big titles and good pictures while the rest of the page elements are simple but descriptive.
Diving in deeper the menu system gives you enough information to find the next step while also letting you get to pretty much any answer you need within 3-4 pages. Also note the good use of colored text and larger fonts to help people spot the important parts of the page quickly. Their calendar is well done too. It doesn’t do anything too fancy, it just has all the relevant information and provides you the filter events to find the ones relevant to you.
Checking out their mobile things look good. Things are rearranged a bit to accommodate mobile but all the content is there and accessible.
Something that is less obvious but very important is the near total absence of Flash. Flash is notorious for having security holes and not working well on mobile devices. Historically it has been extremely useful for a variety of applications but better alternatives have been developed and both developers and users are moving away from it. Currently the only part of the site that still uses flash is the food stamp calculator, and there are plans to update that in the near future. This fall we can look forward to multilingual support, you will notice if you try to switch it to Spanish now it doesn’t work.