At ThoughtRiver we recently overhauled our website and are extremely pleased with the result. You can check it out for yourself here.
This article is an attempt to explain a little about the process we went through to create the new site, and also as a way for me to thank the team involved.
I joined ThoughtRiver in September 2018 as the Commercial Director. This means that I am directly responsible for the way that we position ourselves in the busy and increasingly crowded legal tech space, as well as for the look and feel of our brand and messaging.
Creating a website that supported our vision and told our story was therefore one of my top priorities. I went to work interviewing our employees and our customers, with my goal to distil lots of information down into a very simple explanation of what we do, and then use that as the key foundation for our new website.
Pre-screening, a new category for AI Contract Review
One thing that become clear to me was that there was not an existing and well-defined category for what we did. There was a fairly well developed broad category of “AI contract review software”, but I quickly learned that this actually housed a number of different use cases. For example, many of the products in this category were using very sophisticated pattern matching algorithms to spot anomalies in a large volume of contracts. Such technology was being used for large volume due diligence exercises.
Some products were actually providing data mining and analysis tools to view aggregate data from a volume of contracts within an organisation. These insights could then be used to make commercial decisions. Both of these use cases were really providing tools for lawyers to use.
But what we were doing was pretty unique. We were actually providing a first pass review of a new incoming contract for risk against an existing playbook. We were effectively replacing the human review that would usually be performed by an expensive lawyer. This contract review work is the bread and butter for any in-house legal team, and we quickly realised that we needed to make sure that we differentiated ourselves in this manner. We are a business-facing product that both speeds up and improves contracting across the business, not just a tool for lawyers to use. It was from this work that the category of “contract pre-screening” emerged, and it is within this category that ThoughtRiver proudly sits.
A Team Effort
Now that we had a category and a deeper understanding of the problem our technology solved, we went to work building a website that told this story. We worked closely with a fantastic agency called Tomorrow People (TP) who helped us to ideate the structure and navigation of the site, and we focused hard on both simplicity and storytelling. Our goal was to explain what we did in the minimum number of words and pages and try to use real examples and customer stories as much as we could. We spent countless hours looking at the design of the site, and in particular the use of images and icons to tell our story. The team for this involved our agency TP, our Marketing Manager Cath Firmin, our Marketing Advisor Ben Packman from BrandTBC, and our Commercial Operations Manager Tianlu Qu. This team worked tirelessly to perfect the story, worked diligently to use the right words, worked creatively to match the right images, and worked as a team to deliver the project on time and within budget.
Well done and thank you to each and every one of you. What a great result.