Creative RFP Issued By Michigan Advocacy Program

2021-12-01 by EPR Staff
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The Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP) issues this RFP to hire a graphic designer to help update and upgrade the design elements of the michiganlegalhelp.org website (MLH website), along with redesign of the existing Self-Help Center brochure template, MLHP rack card, and business card, and creation of design elements for letterhead, slide decks, and social media. The MLH website was created in 2010, launched in 2012, and currently has ~60,000 visits per week. The purpose of the website is to provide the people of Michigan with high quality legal information and self-help tools, including an interactive triage and referral system and automated document tools for legal forms. We are currently undergoing a UX redesign and software upgrade of the website, and the graphic design updates will be incorporated at the same time.

Background:

The Michigan Legal Help (MLH) program is part of the Michigan Advocacy Program (MAP), which is founded on the belief that equal justice is a right, not a privilege. MAP’s mission is to advance the safety, independence, and economic stability of those most affected by poverty, racism, and other structurally oppressive systems by increasing access to justice and working for systemic solutions. MAP is committed to anti-racism in all aspects of our work and has an active Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee. Visit mplp.org and miadvocacy.org for more information. MAP and MLHP are working together on this project, which is funded by a Technology Initiative Grant from the Legal Services Corporation (TIG #20013).

The MLHP works with judges, courts, lawyers, bar associations, nonprofits, self-help centers, libraries, and many others to promote coordinated and quality assistance for people addressing their own civil legal problems in Michigan. Our interactive statewide Michigan Legal Help (MLH) website is a national innovation model that provides legal information, self-help tools, and referrals to the public and to advocates helping others. Over 63,000 people visit the MLH website per week, and in 2020, people used its Do-It-Yourself Tools to create 416 sets of legal forms per day. MLH supports a Spanish language version of the site at AyudaLegaldeMichigan.org and provides live chat assistance (LiveHelp) for all web visitors between 11am-3pm weekdays. MLH also develops and supports Self-Help Centers around the state to provide access to public computers and legal information help from trained Navigators. Visit michiganlegalhelp.org for more information.

3. INTENDED AUDIENCE OF MICHIGANLEGALHELP.ORG

We have defined the following groups of people as users of our website:

Self-represented litigants who are already working through a legal issue, who need access to court forms, legal information, procedural instructions, and referrals to lawyers and other resources.

Unrepresented parties who have a problem that they don’t realize is a legal issue, who find the site through Google or another search engine, who then access court forms, legal information, procedural instructions, and referrals to lawyers and other resources.

Individuals who are looking for legal assistance, whether that assistance may be provided by a legal aid agency, self-help center, or a referral service sponsored by the private bar.

People who are looking for information to help a family member or friend, or professionals such as social workers who are helping a client find information.

Self-help center and library visitors needing to access court forms, legal information, procedural instructions, and referrals to lawyers and other resources.

Litigants appearing at court who are referred by judges and clerks when they ask for or are clearly in need of help with access to court forms, legal information, procedural instructions, and referrals to lawyers and other resources.

Litigants getting limited scope assistance from lawyers seeking help with the aspects of their legal problem they are handling themselves.

Lawyers and judges seeking information on legal topics they are less familiar with.

Trusted community partners who are helping others facing legal problems who need access to court forms, legal information, procedural instructions, and referrals to lawyers and other resources.

70% of our audience accesses our tools via a smartphone. Our audience spans all age groups fairly evenly, except the 65+ group, which is only 8% of our audience. Our audience is 60% female and 40% male. 59% of our audience is within Michigan and is well spread out across the state, reflecting the general population ratios.

Scope of Work:

The website will be built on the Drupal 9.x platform. The site design should take advantage of the flexibility offered by Drupal CMS so that we can easily expand the site without costly redesigns. The graphic designer will be expected to work with Drupal developers and MLH staff to ensure that all menus are simple and make sense, that the site architecture is obvious, and that the type is easy to read regardless of platform or device. We expect the designer to communicate all information necessary for the programmer to incorporate all design elements into the final version of the website, and to be available for consultation during this integration process.We are looking for a graphic designer to create a contemporary look for MichiganLegalHelp.org that is user-friendly, welcoming, trustworthy, and professional. We are committed to a site that utilizes elements that are cross-culturally competent and responsive to the diversity of the intended audience. There is a lot of information presented on the site, so it is important that the site not appear cluttered or confusing. The most important goal of the website is that it be easy to use — that it is easy for all users to understand, search, and navigate, regardless of education level, familiarity with legal issues, or technological sophistication. Our target users may not be particularly tech savvy, so we don’t want to overwhelm them with bells and whistles. The design does not need to fit in with any other existing websites or program brands.

The website is often used in conjunction with physical Self-Help Centers in Michigan, so the site design should include flexible elements that are transferable to print media for use in the Self-Help Centers and in promoting the website and Self-Help Center project through non-web media.

In addition to the website redesign, MLH requests redesign of the existing Self-Help Center brochure template, MLH rack card, and business card, which are used for outreach by courts, self-help centers, and others throughout the state. We also need the graphic designer to create design elements that we can use for letterhead, slide decks for trainings, screencast recordings and other presentations, and for use on social media (Twitter and Facebook). The final design should also include a branding style guide with fonts, colors, and other design considerations for the MLH team to follow so that future publications are consistent with the website redesign.

MLH will facilitate usability testing as design elements are considered and implemented; it is an expectation that the graphic designer will cooperate with these efforts and agree to iterate on design elements based on findings from usability testing.

Due Date: no later than 5 p.m. (EST) on 12/13/21

Address:

Proposals must be delivered to Angela Tripp by email at trippa@mplp.org no later than 5 p.m. (EST) on 12/13/21.

Agencies to consider for this include Zeno partners and Edelman PR.