Putting together a design factory

My role
Senior designer

About the client
Legal Zoom is the leading, nationally recognized legal brand for small business and consumers in the United States.

While Legal Zoom remains the overall leader, they have seen their market position start to erode in some areas to smaller competitors. Their reputation among the public has been as a low cost provider of legal products. They needed to reposition themselves as a trusted advisor in order to retain their market dominance. They had a brand platform and a design vocabulary and the creative team was in the process of updating all of the brand touch points. They had been given an ambitious goal of three months.

CREATE A COLLABORATIVE SYSTEM When I got there, each of the designers had their own method of working and there wasn’t a systematic approach to front end design. I created a drag-and-drop modular template system using Adobe Creative Cloud’s new Library system that made it twice as fast for designers to create web pages. Each module was precisely premade, with styled type, and all interactive elements standardized. This method also ensured greater overall consistency and made the development team’s job significantly easier.

MAKE AN EMOTIONAL IMPACT A big part of this project was creating content that was benefit driven, as opposed to feature driven. This meant really thinking about the emotional impact we wanted to have on the customer. Since I have a background in writing, I helped out the copywriting team generating copy for a number of these pages when they were overloaded. I also was able to help the team select better photography. The previous style of photography used a lot of very posed people on white backgrounds. The imagery was largely meaningless and trite. By feature more naturalistic images of people in more ordinary settings, we were able to elevate the appeal of the Legal Zoom brand.

SET NEW STANDARDS The brand standards had been written from a technical standpoint, but they needed to reflect the new humanity of the brand. I helped the Creative Director restructure the Brand Voice section of the guidelines to emphasize the core purpose of the brand and bring to live the personality and the values of the organization.

The creative team came in two weeks early. The new brand is a dramatic improvement, and I believe it will have a big impact on their business. I’m really proud of what I was able to do on this team. Very often we designers want to only talk about the designs we originated and the leadership we took. Here I did neither. I was simply a hard working member of a team. But I couldn’t be prouder of what we did or happier to have been among their ranks.

Brand standards

Website redesign