The Historical Society of the District of Columbia Circuit

Historical Society of the DC Circuit Logo

Small Bytes designed & developed a new website for this nonprofit, developing a number of unique tools to aid the display and functionality of their vast collection of Oral Histories and judges’ portfolios.

One particular challenge with this site was how to make their PDFs searchable by google. Many of the PDFs were so old that they not in a digital format. Our programmer created a plugin for us to use to copy and paste the text of every oral history document into a post. Search results would then display the PDF.

Other special features of this site include:

  • a gallery of judge’s portraits with links to a unique page for each judge;
  • a timeline of the History of the Courts; and,
  • a page devoted to the Programs & Videos of the Society.

Below are a few Before & After pages from the Society’s website. 

The original home page was busy with a lot of text. We decided to use more images on the home page to help the user quickly understand what the site had to offer. Under a slideshow header, we added clickable images to visually display the site’s main categories, and a scrolling portrait gallery of clickable images of the judges.

Before Home Page
Before - Home Page
New Home Page
After - Home Page

On the old website, the Oral Histories page was becoming difficult to navigate as more and more oral histories were added to the Society’s collection. By adding a search feature, the page is faster and easier to navigate. Images with the name of each person underneath make browsing faster, more compact, and thus more “user friendly.” 

Old Oral Histories
Before - Oral Histories Page
New Oral Histories
After - Oral Histories Page

Using a pictorial interactive timeline gives a more interesting and enriching “user experience.” The top of the page has clickable spans of years to allow users to select a particular time frame to explore.  Each image includes a shortened description with a clickable “Read more”  to open the entire post. 

Old Timeline
Before - Timeline Page
New Timeline
After - Timeline Page