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Cite as: October 2009 83(10) LIJ, p16

From this month the LIV is showing a new face to the world with its redeveloped website.

Websites and, through them, the delivery of services are crucial to the success of any organisation.

After all, the website is the most visible face of an organisation. It is a 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week, 365-days-a-year presence, available to anyone in the world.

It is with that visible presence in mind that the LIV has for the past nine months been redeveloping its website to ensure it offers the sophisticated service demanded by its audience.

Visitors to the LIV website - www.liv.asn.au - will from this month see significant changes.

The website has been redeveloped to meet both the changing information needs of its members and demands of business.

LIV CEO Mike Brett Young said the focus of the redeveloped website was to make it as simple and rewarding for members to use as possible.

"The redeveloped website reflects the reality of how many of our members use new technology to access information. It will improve members' access to LIV services and provide an additional real return for membership."

The focus of the website redevelopment has been on updating the supporting technology, design and structure to allow easier access to LIV services, programs and information, as well as to provide an interactive experience for LIV members.

Updated and integrated technology has enabled the development of a single LIV website that incorporates the previously separate LIV, CPD and Bookshop sites.

The immediate benefits to website users are a single point of entry to all LIV services, a consistent design, revised content, improved searching and navigation and new e-commerce functionality, all of which make it easier and faster for users to locate what they need.

The overarching objectives of the website project, which began in February this year, have been to ensure a website that will:

  • meet member needs and focus on service and information delivery;
  • provide information and content that is relevant to LIV stakeholders;
  • build a legal community and encourage communication with, and between, members and LIV stakeholders;
  • enable members to manage their membership details and information; and
  • allow for the future implementation of member focused and interactive features including newsfeeds and discussion forums.

Last year, the LIV consulted widely with its members on what they wanted from the LIV website.

Overwhelmingly, members said they wanted a website with improved searchability and access, simplification of content and page layout, dynamic and interactive content and delivery mechanisms such as podcasts and forums. They also wanted the ability to easily customise their membership details and personalise the LIV website.

A member focus group was established to assist the LIV project team in reviewing and providing informed opinion on the proposed information structure and the "look and feel" of the pages.

This group included young lawyers, experienced members and legal support staff, representative of city, suburban and regional areas, practice areas and practice types.

From February this year work began inhouse in redeveloping the website.

Using their professional expertise, experience and organisational knowledge, LIV eMarketing and Information Technology staff undertook the project with involvement and support from all LIV departments.

The decision to undertake the work inhouse was made to ensure the website remained closely aligned with the identified needs of LIV members, reflected the values of the organisation and contained project costs.

Service improvements

The new content management system will improve search functionality. It will also allow for future member services and features, including online discussion forums.

Drawing on website best practice research, the LIV has incorporated the use of "mega menus" within the design. [For a closer look at the new webpages, see "Insites" on page 70 of this edition of the LIJ.]

These menus replace the traditional left-hand navigation menus with an efficient search function that brings to the forefront content contained within the site. For example, when you roll over the Membership section of the top menu bar the mega-menu unfolds and a wide variety of membership content headings are displayed. These include:

  • information and practice resources;
  • education and professional development;
  • leadership and representation;
  • ethics and professional excellence;
  • join the LIV;
  • manage your membership;
  • membership services;
  • practice Sections;
  • interest groups; and
  • law associations.

Under each of these subheads are items of interest for practitioners. For example, the information and practice resources section contains:

  • information services;
  • bookshop;
  • library;
  • news and publications;
  • legal information;
  • personal support services;
  • careers centre;
  • mediation services;
  • meeting rooms; and
  • advertising.

The other items in the top menu bar are:

Education and Events: A single point of entry to all LIV CPD education activities and events is accessible under the new main menu item of Education & Events. Other areas include: whatsOn calendar, whatsOn news, continuing professional development, events, accredited specialisation, photo gallery, venues, "Become a speaker", and "Become a sponsor".

Practising in Victoria: Professional standards, practice management, ethics, careers centre, employment and personal support services.

Library: Library catalogue, research services and LIJ search index.

Bookshop: It is now even easier to search for and purchase items online at the LIV Bookshop, with recommended titles, new releases and details of special offers. A new feature includes a searchable bookshop catalogue. Other areas under the bookshop menu include Acts and legislation, general interest, legal forms, legal texts, practice resources and student texts.

News and Publications: LIJ, Young Lawyers Journal, eNews, LIV Legal Directory & Diary, submissions, Client News and LCA newsletter.

Getting advice: Choosing a lawyer, legal information, legal referral service, LIV directories, complaints, legal organisations and LIV services.

About LIV: Our members, LIV management and governance, employment at LIV, LIV annual reports, LIV history, LIV strategic plan, media centre, business partnerships and advertising, and Contact us.

My LIV member portal: Logging in to the "My LIV" portal allows members to manage their own membership details. At a glance the My LIV portal will feature a summary of their membership information such as their membership status, type of membership, areas of practice, nominated practice Sections or interest groups, a list of their LIV email alerts and subscriptions. Members will also be able to access their CPD record and will be provided with a list of upcoming CPD education activities and events.

Next steps

The new-look website, which focused on technology integration, is only stage one, with development of the LIV website ongoing.

Continuing steps in the redevelopment will incorporate elements of Web 2.0 to further enhance interactivity with the site.

These will include the ability to personalise the "My LIV" portal to enable personal alerts, tailored content, and the ability to customise quick links (personal and centralised bookmarks) within the LIV website when users log in.

While the LIV consulted widely for the first stage of its redeveloped website, it remains keen to hear from members about how the website is working.

Any feedback should be emailed to feedback@liv.asn.au.

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