RFP For Graphic Design Upgrade for MichiganLegalHelp.org

1. DESCRIPTION, PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES

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.

2. BACKGROUND OF ORGANIZATION

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Self-help center and library visitors needing to access court forms, legal information, procedural instructions, and referrals to lawyers and other resources.
  6. 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. 
  7. Litigants getting limited scope assistance from lawyers seeking help with the aspects of their legal problem they are handling themselves.
  8. Lawyers and judges seeking information on legal topics they are less familiar with.
  9. 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.

4. PROJECT DESCRIPTION

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. 

5. BUDGET

MLH is prepared to begin work on this project as soon as possible, with a budget no greater than $15,000. This budget is for creation of the design elements of the site as well as design of the additional elements listed above (brochure template, rack card, business card, etc.). This budget should also include consultation with MLHP and its Drupal developers during the development and production phases of the website when the design elements are being implemented.

Payment will be made in installments as agreed upon milestones are met. Proposals should be “total cost” bids covering all specifications outlined below.

6. TERMS AND CONDITIONS

All work done for the website, including, but not limited to, the design, code, graphics, and content shall be owned by MAP, its successors and assigns. MAP, its successor and assigns will have full access to and have the right to customize all site code.

DEADLINE: Proposals must be delivered to Angela Tripp by email at trippa@mplp.org no later than 5 p.m. (EST) on 12/13/21. All proposals must include a statement of authorization to bid signed by a principal of the bidding company. All proposals must use the proposal format outlined in this RFP. Bidders must disclose any relevant conflicts of interest and/or pending lawsuits.

7. FORMAT FOR PROPOSALS

  1. Introduction/executive summary, including:Proposals should adhere to the format below.
    • Project understanding, recommendations & objectives
  2. Project Schedule and Development process, including:
    • Explain your process for creating a final scope of work document -- e.g., define deliverables, create milestones, etc.
    • Explain your customer communication and evaluation procedures
  3. Project Budget Estimates and Cost Projections, including:
    • Provide a breakdown of costs 
    • Please identify any additional expenses, fees, etc. that you will require to complete the project
  4. Company or Agency Profile, including:
    • background, capabilities, related experience
  5. Attachments:
    • Examples of recent interactive projects
    • Summary of current clients and partners
    • Biographies of all who will work on account
    • Professional references.

8. EVALUATION PROCESS and PROJECT TIMELINE

This RFP will be released on 11/22/21. Proposals are due by 5:00 pm EST on 12/13/21. Between now and then, we will respond via email to any questions you may have. A vendor will be selected by 12/20/21, and work on this project is scheduled to begin thereafter. The selected vendor will be expected to enter into a contract with MAP. Vendors whose responses have not been selected for further negotiations or award will be notified via email.

We hope to have an alpha version of the redesigned website available by 3/31/22, and a beta version by 6/30/22. We would like primary design elements to be informed by the alpha version of the website and ready to be integrated into the site by the time the beta version is complete. We anticipate the final site will be launched in August 2022, and need to have all design elements finished by July 2022 so we can prepare for that launch. Project milestones and mid-project deadlines may need to be modified once programming work has begun and more specific requirements of the website developer are known.

9. THE SMALL PRINT – MISCELLANEOUS OTHER TERM

  1. Costs of Preparing Responses: MAP will not pay any vendor costs associated with preparing responses, submitted in response to this RFP. 
  2. Responses Property of MPLP: All responses, accompanying documentation and other materials submitted in response to this RFP shall become the property of MAP and will not be returned. 
  3. Proprietary Information/Public Disclosure: All responses received shall remain confidential until the evaluation is completed and the vendor is selected and approved. Thereafter responses shall be deemed public records. 
  4. RFP Amendments/Cancellation/Reissue/Reopen: MAP reserves the right to change the RFP Schedule or issue amendments to this RFP at any time. MAP also reserves the right to cancel or reissue the RFP. All such actions will be posted at http://www.mplp.org/Jobs.
  5. Minor Administrative Irregularities: MAP reserves the right to waive minor administrative irregularities contained in any response. 
  6. Inability to Enter Contract: MAP reserves the right to eliminate from further consideration any vendor that MAP, because of legal or other considerations, is unable to contract with at the time responses are due in accordance with the project timeline outlined above. 
  7. No Obligation to Enter a Contract:
    • The release of this RFP does not compel MAP to enter any contract. 
    • MAP reserves the right to refrain from contracting with any vendor that has responded to this RFP whether or not the vendor's response has been evaluated and whether or not the vendor has been determined to be qualified. Exercise of this reserved right does not affect MAP’s right to contract with any other vendor. 
    • MAP reserves the right to request an interview with any vendor and/or a demonstration from any vendor prior to entering a contract with that vendor. If a vendor declines the request for an interview or demonstration for any reason, the vendor may be eliminated from further consideration. 
  8. Multiple Contracts: MAP reserves the right to enter contracts with more than one vendor as a result of this RFP. 
  9. Non-Endorsement: The selection of a vendor pursuant to this RFP does not constitute an endorsement of the vendor's services. The vendor agrees to make no reference to MAP in any literature, promotional material, brochures, sales presentations, or the like without the express written consent of MAP. 
  10. Contract Payment Limitations: Vendors should anticipate payment at the end rather than the beginning of the invoice period in which they provide services or after they submit any deliverable for which a payment is due. 

Questions regarding this RFP should be emailed to Angela Tripp (trippa@mplp.org). 

Date Posted