National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

    The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) is the leading member organization dedicated to reforming the criminal justice system. Its goals are to ensure justice and due process, redress systemic racism, and ensure all members have the resources they need to serve.
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    Areas of Focus

    Website Redesign
    Kentico CMS Implementation

    NACDL's dated web design and branding were mismatched to its mission and were negatively impacting its member experience. The EOL of its Ektron CMS was creating a bottleneck for content creation, costing countless additional hours of work. Additionally, NACDL’s site navigation was preventing its members from finding the NACDL resources they rely on.

    NACDL home NACDL search NACDL section

    agencyQ led a robust discovery phase to develop the comprehensive digital strategy needed to make this transition. agencyQ conducted member and internal stakeholder interviews to gain user input and develop personas for NACDL’s different user groups. With these personas, agencyQ completed a heuristic evaluation to test the site’s functionality for each audience, identifying necessary improvements in the user’s process. agencyQ then created journey maps and empathy maps to uncover user pain points and align NACDL’s UX with the needs and expectations of its users and members.

    The results of this research enabled agencyQ to clarify and align NACDL's brand with its target audience and redesign the site's user experience. agencyQ's new layout of the site is persona focused and built to improve navigation and engagement by more intuitively delivering relevant content and resources. To improve site performance, agencyQ performed a SEO audit and a content audit to analyze the onsite resources, update NACDL’s content strategy and address issues of searchability. 

    agencyQ evaluated CMS platforms to match NACDL's KPIs and functional requirements. Based on the review, we selected Kentico to streamline internal efforts. We created a user-focused visual design that gave its diverse target audiences more intuitive pathways to access valuable content. Additionally, agencyQ expanded NACDL's brand guidelines to create an identity that reflects the passionate culture of the association and its members.


    NACDL launched the new site with highly positive feedback from the board and users. agencyQ enhanced the content and site layout to improve accessibility to NACDL's resources and improve member engagement and retention rates. The new CMS (Kentico) will save NACDL staff dozens of hours per week and result in more timely, accurate information for members.