Redeveloping Multiple Sites and Applications into a Cohesive Customer Portal
The State Bar of Texas represents over 75,000 attorneys in Texas, along with tens of thousands of law
students, law clerks, and law practice staff. The state's legal profession depends on the State
Bar's many print and digital publications, as well as its online practice resources, to function.
Vertex helped the Texas State Bar update, consolidate, and streamline its services to the profession with
a new e-commerce system, a new integrated user portal, an administration application that combined and
replaced existing applications, and an expanded updated customer database.
The State Bar of Texas is dedicated to providing the information and management tools its members need to
succeed. Their publications, both print and digital, coupled with their online Law Practice Management
resources, are invaluable to the professional success of Texas lawyers. However, over the years these
resources had been created and managed separately and in phases so that accessing them meant traversing
multiple websites, applications, and online stores. Supporting their members, and marketing these products
and services to them, was compounded by the number of different sites used to both access and promote
On the business operations side, managing all of these separate resources through separate applications
was inefficient, time-consuming, and costly. In addition, the various services, stores, and tools employed
separate brands, and those brands had not had a recent design refresh. Their Law Practice Resources
division did not have its own brand, and the print books, online books, and law practice management
program all had separate brands, with different logos and color schemes, that State Bar staff felt should
be combined into a single unified brand.
The digital staff at the State Bar wanted to create a single cohesive user experience for their members,
to provide better access to both their free law practice management resources and to make purchasing their
publications – and accessing their online publications – easier. At the same time, they wanted to improve
sales conversions, payment collections, and subscription retention efforts for their staff. And they
wanted the entire system to look fresh and contemporary.
Vertex approached the task of creating the new, unified portal, to be named TexasBarPractice.com, by
having our UI/UX team look at the existing e-commerce and practice management sites and the functional
requirements of the integrated system to design the “single, cohesive user experience” requested by the
State Bar. This user experience model would then be used to create the functional requirements, business
process workflow, and application architecture for the new system.
Simultaneously, the graphic design team began working with the State Bar marketing team on an identity
package and design system for the new brand.
The Texas Bar Practice portal combines multiple e-commerce sites and applications under a single unified
Unified Account Management
State Bar staff wished to use WordPress as the content management system (“CMS”) for their sites, and
WooCommerce for managing e-commerce. However, neither WooCommerce nor any other third-party add-ons to the
project supported the kind of complex user management required by the TexasBarPractice project – which
included organizational accounts, linked subordinate accounts, various kinds of subscription and group
purchases, and several other unusual customer account requirements.
Vertex developers created a unified account management system to enable all of the various kinds of
accounts and sales requirements needed for the portal, redesigning and redeveloping the customer database
in the process. This account management system formed the nucleus of the applications managing the new
portal and provided a single login interface linking sections – print publications store, online
publications store, knowledgebase, practice management resources – as well as enabling different
functionality and access for end users based on the nature of their membership and their roles within
A New Look and Feel
The graphic design and digital marketing teams produced a new, clean, contemporary design unified under a
single brand name and new logo. Major sections of the new portal, which had previously been stand-alone,
separate sites – were similarly branded and also given new logos that derived from the TexasBarPractice
“parent” logo. Two rows of menus allowed users to navigate easily between all the major sections and
functional aspects of the portal.
One Stop Shop – for Portal Management
On the portal management side, Vertex created an administrative application to manage users, organizations,
orders, licenses, renewals, and products. In addition, we created applications for automatically creating
online publications from product definition files, mobile apps for enabling rapid in-person sales at events,
and a reporting tool for the e-commerce finance staff.