The Colorado Bar Association hired THOR to breathe new life into their print magazine Colorado Lawyer. Our success allowed them to entrust THOR with their digital redesign. We analyzed, repositioned, and restyled the brand with a sophisticated and cohesive look. We also provided training for the client’s in-house team, so they could take over the process for the long haul.
Colorado Lawyer contributors submit their stories as Microsoft Word files emailed back and forth amongst the editorial team. Editors import the submissions into Adobe InDesign layouts to create layouts for print. But editors do not necessarily plan how these will look in an online format. This presents numerous challenges.
THOR’s assessment process of the magazine divided content into “Features, Departments” and “News Items.” Each necessitated custom metadata with architecture splitting them into unique data models. This cross-referencing ensured continuity between the print and digital editions.
THOR pinpointed early on how a legacy Content Management System held Colorado Lawyer back. It powered the main association site and did not meet the magazine's unique layout. This forced the magazine editors to publish via PDF flip books. These rudimentary services package print magazines into clunky online readers that are inaccessible to many internet users and impossible to read on mobile devices.
To build a solution that worked with Colorado Lawyer's well-established process, we customized a Wordpress installation with unique fields for each type of content.
The Colorado Lawyer team also wanted to go a step further and provide a weekly update of court proceedings for the entire state of Colorado. For this requirement, THOR built a custom sort/filtering interface to handle all 'From the Courts' content. We customized the user interface to give visitors a responsive experience that works across all devices.
Colorado Lawyer required a unique search solution to index their rich content trove. We utilized the excellent SearchWP plugin for the indexing requirement. THOR then layered a custom search experience on top of the index to match the brand.
Colorado Lawyer posed a unique challenge given it is a heavily researched publication with numerous citations. Some articles include well over 200 citations marked in the main text. The citation links made inside of Adobe InDesign needed to carry over into our WordPress CMS seamlessly.
To achieve this goal, THOR restructured the InDesign templates. Each citation created an inline HTML citation within the article. This pointed to the correct resource in the endnotes. In WordPress, we created a custom space for each block of exported citations per article. In the theme, we wrote code to automatically recognize the citations and format them into superscript, in-page links. The resulting article pages move a reader between prose and citations with minimal administrative overhead.
Our original engagement began with the redesign of the print edition of Colorado Lawyer followed by the initial concept and design of the companion publication The Docket.