This is part two of an article on “Corporate Website Design.” Whether you’re a client or a provider, this information should help you find direction and focus for understanding these very complex web design projects.
There are three other sides of a corporate or legal website design project that bear mentioning, but only in brief. Corporate and legal websites tend to have three other sub-sites specially designed for investors, members of the press, and the rest of the public. Those sections tend to fuse features of the action-oriented, and feature-driven sites, along with more of an emphasis on “vanilla” web design practices.
The Investor’s Site and The Press Page
These two sites have a lot in common. The information in them tends to be secured – although less often, in the case of the press page.
Sites for the press are fairly simple. Many companies use a PDF download repository with text search, and a link to various press kits and publication guidelines. The rest of the job tends to be design-oriented, but your programmer will need to make the most of search features in order to help rushed writers find what they need in that PDF library.
Sites for investors also tend to be heavily focused on making a large document archive available, to only the right people, in the easiest-to-find fashion. Security is very important here, especially a granular degree of security that lets different agents access different things.
Both the press and the investors will need to be wooed with graceful, dapper website design principles that represent the corporation or law firm’s character.
The Public Face
Last but certainly not least, the corporation or law firm needs to show the world at large who they are, and how to access various resources. Naturally, this side of a corporate or legal website design contract will be a sort of gateway project, routing different kinds of visitors to different parts of the site.
For legal website design projects, there’s another section that somewhat merges press-facing, and public facing pages. Legal firms will publish a variety of documents regarding the outcomes of their cases. This is both a public service resource, and a selling point. As such, it tends to merge PDF repositories, like the typical press page, and more public-friendly synopses of the outcomes and cases in progress.
The latter situation is often especially geared towards convincing clients to join class-action suits, and to show that the law firm is active in the community’s interests.
Legal website design projects often come with a much higher degree of required security, especially if clients are able to download documents directly.
Conclusion on Corporate / Legal
These projects are often the most lucrative, but are definitely the hardest to win and complete.
Legal website design in particular tends to bring with it a much higher degree of customer involvement and top-shelf expectations in all areas: technical implementation, design mastery, and search engine optimization. The more profitable your client’s business is, the more carefully they’re going to select a web designer, and the more they’re going to expect for their money.