Clio Unveils a Beautiful New UI Design


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I met Jason LaRivière, Clio’s new creative director, right before Clio unveiled its beautiful iOS app last year. I was impressed. Legal software is not generally known for being great-looking, but bringing LaRivière on board showed Clio was serious about changing that unfortunate-but-accurate trend. The iOS app suggested a redesigned Clio could not be far behind, and today, Clio launched it.

Here is LaRivière, talking about the changes:

If you log into Clio right now, you can see the new design, and it is impressive. The old design was … fine. It got the job done. But done well, design is more than just window dressing. Consistent behavior throughout an app makes it easier to use. Better typography makes it easier to comprehend what you are seeing on the screen. Better layout makes it easier to get the information you need at a glance.

The new Clio design uses color typography, color blocks, white space, and fewer borders to separate elements. There are fewer obstacles that stop your eye, and more subtle cues to what is important on the page you are viewing. Clio has a detailed walkthrough of the changes to the design and UI, but here is a look at the list of matters, which shows the new design well:

App Refresh - Matter Screen

There is still some work to be done. The calendar, for example, has not changed that I can see. The matter profiles look pretty much the same, as well, with the old, cartoon-y icons. But I imagine Clio users will see frequent changes over the coming months, until the new design permeates the user interface.

According to its press release, this is just the beginning. Along with the redesign came under-the-hood changes that provide the groundwork for future upgrades. Clio promises efficiency-enhancing upgrades throughout 2014.

Tasks No Longer Require Due Dates

I don’t know when Clio made this change, but while exploring the new design, I noticed that due dates are now optional for tasks. This is a feature I’ve been saying Clio needs for a long time, so I was pleased to see it. It makes Clio much more friendly to GTD practitioners.

Trivia for Font Geeks

Both Clio and its new signature font, Gibson, are Canadian.


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  • Avram E. Frisch

    I am a longtime clio user, and I do not think this is what it needed. Clio has too many clicks, too few shortcuts, to get things done. They need to focus on streamlining how things work and making it faster. This “redesign” is all window dressing. Literally, they added one minor feature. Clio feels like it has plateued,

    • Hi Avi,

      We certainly appreciate your feedback regarding the UI changes and want you to know that while the visual refresh was certainly important to us to provide a unified experience across devices, the backend update actually represents the pinnacle of this upgrade and will allow us to become more responsive and agile when rolling out updates to Clio. We know we’re far from perfect but building on feedback from customers such as yourself is what led us to make these changes, and continued feedback will empower us to make the changes you want to see. As always, please continue sharing your feedback with us and we’ll keep our designers and developers aware.

      Derek B.
      Community Manager @ Clio

      • Avram E. Frisch

        Derek, it simply is ugly too! The yellow is putrid and the various tables are impossible to read.

        • Wow, I totally disagree. I love the color, and I think readability went way up with the new design. Then again, I guess I don’t use it every day, so you would probably know better.

          What I don’t like is the new sales website. I feel like there was a lot more information (about security, for example) on the old one, and it was easier to find. The new one looks great on a phone, but everything is just too big on my computer.

          • Avram E. Frisch

            This update has solidified my desire to move on to another product. I just find that I am avoiding going anywhere near Clio right now, as I hate looking at it and half the stuff seems to have broken anyway. Interestingly, the interface changes they started last year that they appear to have abandoned were actually pretty good. The focus should be on streamlining everything so that there are fewer clicks and quicker data entry. It takes literally ten steps for me to set up a new real estate matter and add in each of my contacts on the matter with all of their contact information. For some reason, Clio only allows you to enter a new client’s name on the create matter form, then you have to go add in the contact information elsewhere. Similarly, with related contacts, you can add in a phone number and email address from the matter screen, but any other information (fax, street address etc) must be added in on the contact’s own page. Similarly, the new update makes it necessary to click a link to get additional options for a particular record, when in the past you just had to click on an icon at the end of the line. This setup may look cleaner, but slows me down. It is speeding up the interface that they should have been focusing on, not to try to prettify the interface, whatever one happens to think of it. I don’t believe they have ever actually talked to the lawyers who use their products day in and day out. This seems to be a general problem with most of the cloud based legal practice programs.

        • Doey

          Ugly is a matter of interpretation. A lot more people really enjoy the new design. I think this is a fresh direction, moving away from the same static old-school look and feel — a move into the future of modern web design and UI. Of course that will always anger people who can’t handle change, especially lawyers in this space. This is an improvement and Clio is the farthest ahead. Kudos for being bold and shaking things up!

        • Jef Moddejonge

          Couldn’t disagree more. While I’m not crazy about yellow as a colour choice in general, it’s what they’ve always used and the tone they’ve moved to is softer on the eyes.

          I haven’t delved into any new features but I find the update gives an improvement on readability.