Awdry Bailey & Douglas (ABD) solicitors is an award-winning law firm established in 1750, and has clients in Wiltshire, Berkshire, Hampshire, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Bath and London. They have won the Law Society’s Excellence Award for Innovation and two awards for excellent client service.
The firm prides itself on upholding traditional values of integrity and professionalism, coupled with a modern and relevant delivery of service. It provides a full range of legal services for individuals, families and businesses and specialises in conveyancing, commercial work, family and employment law, among other things.
A history of good design
Our Creative Director, Rebecca Jaggs started working with Awdry Bailey & Douglas on a freelance basis back in 1999, so when the firm decided to formally appoint a design agency, Resolution Design was the obvious choice.
“I first met Becky when she and Richard moved to Devizes 16 years ago,” explains Alistair Everett, one of ABD’s Senior Partners, “and in fact one of my colleagues from the firm acted for them when they purchased their house. Becky’s first job for us in 1999 was re-designing our headed paper and business cards. We have continued to use Resolution Design for all of our print and online design projects. They understand what the firm is all about and where we want to get to.”
“One of the things they have done particularly well over the years is helped us to present ourselves as having traditional values but a modern approach and conveying that balance through their designs. Our clients like our values but also want a modern, dynamic and forward thinking approach.”
The best of both worlds
As part of this modern approach, ABD recently decided that their website needed a redesign to keep abreast of the times — to allow the firm’s online presence to continue to evolve along with the firm itself. We had designed and built their old website back in 2007 and it had gone through several updates through the years, serving them well. However it lacked a few key features of the modern web: mobile compatibility, snappy content and an intuitive structure that catered to user journeys, reflecting the best practises of the current era.
Defining the site structure was challenging, as they are a large legal firm with many services, and organising all the content needed careful consideration.
Finalising the look and feel also needed thought and skill. We gave examples of how we could push the brand style forward, before settling on the final site design. This included giving options for updating the logo, colour and styling options. As with many larger firms, there are many people involved in the decision making and so we remained flexible through the process to help keep everyone happy with the developments.
A personal touch
Imagery was also a big discussion point for us. The ABD brand is all about the quality of their service so their people are very important and we wanted to place them in their specialisms in some way, making that visual connection and adding life and interest to the site.
We really wanted to imbue the site with a personal touch. “Resolution felt very strongly that we should not rely too heavily on library pictures, and that we should instruct our own photographer to go out to client premises and take photographs of our lawyers working ‘in the field’,” says Alistair.
“The message behind this was that our team are not stuck behind their desks but will visit clients and take an active, consultative interest in their business. This all took a lot of planning and hard work, and we took some persuading to agree to it, but it was definitely the right thing to do for the firm.”
“Working with them is an easy process but they are not afraid to challenge your ideas and present what they think will work best,” says Alistair. “They are very good at really thinking about our business and what it requires and what we want to achieve. We have to put time and energy into the process but it is worth it. Richard also provides us with a very precise spec for each job so we know exactly what is included in their quote.”
The result: a website design that reflects Awdry Bailey & Douglas’ professionalism and uniqueness, while also highlighting their friendliness and accessibility.
We’ll leave the last words to Alistair: “I have a great deal of faith in Resolution as they are very good at listening to what we want, and then coming back with a design idea which incorporates what we have asked for but which also adds something original and new.”
“I think they’re a great company to work with. They do a good job, they are nice people, they make you think, and they listen. They try to understand what the business is all about before they begin work on their project.”