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.