In the spring of 2022, Clarity completed and launched a website redesign on behalf of the Cook County Public Guardian, a governmental office devoted to championing the rights of children and adults routinely neglected by society.
Due to the effective use of a page builder¹, this project took less than a month for Clarity to complete. The goal was simple – an updated site that could be used more effectively. It was very much like our work on behalf of The Journey Forward²: a need for updated functionality, administrative control, and a foundation for future enhancements. Most importantly, they needed to be better equipped to help those seeking out the resources the Public Guardian provides.
The Public Guardian’s Office employs around 400 personnel, including approximately 150 lawyers, and has an annual operating budget of approximately $21.9 million. They have three divisions devoted to their causes:
- A Juvenile Division, who act as lawyers for abused and neglected children
- An Adult Guardianship Division, who act as guardian for adults with disabilities and their estates
- A Domestic Relations Division that focuses on representing children in highly contested custody cases
The original website was technologically outdated on both the front and back end, running on a clunky PHP that required going through a third-party vendor to make updates. It also needed a facelift with a modern look and feel. It was an opportunity to take a new design direction while consolidating and formalizing the color palette.
The Public Guardian team was engaging and cooperative, aware of the timely need for improvements. They had both navigation requirements and preferences for us to work with.
Clarity started by stripping the site down to the most basic parts and reworking the information architecture. More recent print items being utilized by the office became the basis for the new design and colors. The existing navigation was reorganized in a more logical way while building within the browser. By installing WordPress, we eliminated the need for the third-party administrator.
Lastly, the WordPress platform expedited the process of creating a stage site. This really helped with training the team. They could get comfortable with using a CMS to make updates to the site before adjusting anything on the production side.
The updated website has a blue and white foundation. It better aligns with Public Guardian branding and conveys stability and safety. The updated framework, CMS, and additional stage site provide a clear path for the office to build on in the future.
Thanks to page builder, we were able to work with a small budget and make some easy, technical changes to quickly deliver this project. The Public Guardian team has a new website and toolset and can leverage these improved resources to better assist those in need.
¹Clarity insight: “The Wonderful World of WordPress Page Builders”