Levine Sherkin Boussidan
Launched Jun 27 2016
- eightySix Interactive
- Justyn Berkovits
- Project Manager
- Justyn Berkovits
About the ClientLevine Sherkin Boussidan practices across all areas of civil and commercial litigation, including employment, personal injury, securities, fraud, breach of trust, breach of contract, shareholders and partnership disputes, class actions, bankruptcy and construction. The firm, based in Toronto, also handles appeals of all civil and commercial matters.
This was a smooth project. We had a stable design that had been approved prior to development and being more of a facelift than a redesign, we were, for the most part, able to leverage existing structure and copy from their current site.
In terms of the design, we had some nice photography done of the team and office and simply strived for a more modern look.
To build it I used our ever improving, in-house WordPress boilerplate, equipped with my usual toolset, so development was very much straight forward, which made for a comfortable process.
Sliding Panel Navigation
This was perhaps a little overkill, but we wanted to have some fun with the practice areas navigation and throw a little life into the design. We had recently come across a similar garage-door-like animation that we had liked, so we tried to mimic that to some extent.
I think the key, which is so simple but so effective, is making sure the background to your containing element is black, or at least a dark, shadowy color. The darkness is what gives the animation it's depth, making it seem like it's in a 3D space. Writing the actual CSS animation wasn't an issue but understanding that - the illusion - was really the ah-ha moment.
What Was Learned
We did have one bump in the road. There was a slight change in the sitemap and navigation. We had originally included the cases archive in the primary navigation where you'd see all cases, but towards the end of the project, the navigation was updated to point to a new page, Practice Areas, to display cases by practice area - a page that was ultimately more important to the firm.
Thankfully at that point we had established enough of the design system to compose a page fairly easily and within a day or two we had the new page up and ready to review.
Those kinds of curve balls can rattle you when you're nearing a deadline or if another project is about to start but if you really do the work up front to establish a good design system and leverage your existing assets, you can make those kinds of pivots with ease.
What Went Well
The development process, at a technical level. Something I've learned while building out our custom Wordpress boilerplate and various themes with it, is the ways in which objects ought to be structured - what kind of post types to use and how to structure different kinds of data sets, for both flexibility on the front end and manageability on the back end.
Structuring the cases and practice areas as their own post types made fetching and displaying data flexible enough to update our queries and templates efficiently when we needed to change our direction on the fly.
We realized that practice areas had more substance to them, so having them as a post type allowed us to add meta data - a description, subtitle, or anything else we required for them, whereas with a taxonomy, this may have been possible but certainly much less conventional.
I think the use of the boilerplate - the familiarity with it and the control over it - was definitely what I enjoyed most about this project, at least at a technical level. Overall I think we had a strong design and delivered it as expected.