February 01, 2015

A New Face for the National Legal Resource Center

David M. Godfrey

(Note: The pdf for the issue in which this article appears is available for download: Bifocal, Vol. 36, Issue 3.)

 

The National Legal Resource Center (NLRC) website, now at www.NLRC.ACL.gov, has a new URL, new focus, and new design. The NLRC website is visited by over 1,000 users per month and received over 50,000 page views last year. Created by the Administration on Aging (AoA) in 2008, the NLRC is a collaborative partnership of five national centers of expertise. The NLRC website debuted in 2009 and had grown dated and cluttered; it was in need of a facelift. And, since the AoA is now a part of the Administration for Community Living (ACL), a URL change was needed, as well.

The NLRC website is a point of entry to the expertise of the NLRC partners. The goal of the NLRC is to support professionals in law and aging, but much of the content on the website is also an excellent resource for consumers. The five partners in the NLRC are, the Center for Elder Rights Advocacy, the National Consumer Law Center, Justice in Aging, The Center for Social Gerontology, and the ABA Commission on Law and Aging. Each of the NLRC partners contributes substantive expertise and legal service development and delivery experience. The partners collaborate on training, technical assistance, case consultation, and providing resources and expertise to support aging services professionals and improve the delivery of legal assistance to older Americans with the greatest economic and social needs.

The first step in redesigning the site was to look at the website from the point of view of the user. Staff examined website analytics, talked to users, and looked at data from the annual NLRC user survey. The new design focuses on the user experience with updated content and organization. Content is classified into nine categories, two of them new: elder abuse prevention and supported decision-making. The website’s menus were improved and parts of the online resource library also underwent extensive reorganizing to make them more user-friendly. And, the website complies with the Department of Health and Human Service’s accessibility guidelines

The goal of the new design is to be user-focused, streamlined, and to have content “above the fold” so that the majority of the home page displays on a single screen in the most common browser at standard resolution. The site is now optimized for display on mobile devices. And, social media feeds were added to highlight the activity of NLRC partners on Twitter and Facebook. A new tool bar on the right-hand side allows users to share content from the NLRC website to popular social media platforms. This tool bar also allows for page translation and printer-friendly layout formatting.

With help from law student volunteers, all of the content on the site was reviewed to reduce broken and incorrect links and to remove out-of-date content. Keeping the site current is an ongoing and constant process—the NLRC website staff processes over 200 updates per year on existing content on the website, and adds over 100 new items annually.

NLRC partners are always looking for ways to improve the site. Please email David Godfrey at david.godfrey@americanbar.org if you have feedback. And, don’t forget to update your bookmark to the new www.NLRC.ACL.gov URL. ■

David M. Godfrey

David M. Godfrey is a Senior Attorney at the ABA Commission on Law and Aging in Washington, DC.