- Workshop facilitation
- UX design
- Information architecture
- Usability testing
- User journey mapping
- Logic/user flows
- UX writing
- Me (Strategy, UX Design and UX copy)
- Abe (Prototype developer)
- Elliot (UI Designer)
- Steph (Producer)
This project was completed under strict NDA. Screenshots, images and identifying information have been intentionally omitted. If you'd like to know more about my work on this project, please email me.
After successfully redeveloping their public website in 2018 (another Tundra project), our client (a leading law firm) experienced an influx of enquiries through to their call centre. Limited resourcing due to tightened budgets meant they were unable to deal with the volume of enquiries, leaving some prospective clients waiting in a time of great stress and need.
Create an online legal triage tool that helps a prospective client understand whether or not they have a claim and make an appointment with a suitable lawyer in their area.
I was engaged as part of the team at Tundra to design this tool, handing development responsibilities over to another external agency.
Needs and requirements
Ideas with users
The first step, as always, was to gather as much information as possible and explore requirements. In this case, we not only needed to explore business and user needs, but legal and regulatory requirements too.
To do this, I met with the client's experts across multiple practices to understand the questions that must be asked of prospective clients to tell whether or not their claim might be valid.
This process uncovered a huge amount of complexity that our tool would need to cater for. A prospective client could reach quite a number of different outcomes (requiring different appointment types — or no appointment at all) based on their combination of answers to the necessary questions.
The final part of our discovery phase was to gather and document detailed business requirements for the appointment-booking portion of the tool. As the tool was also being built in Salesforce, we had to explore the technical constraints that might also impact our design.
Following our discovery phase, it was time to turn all of our complex and detailed requirements and information into designs.
Draft questionnaire and logic flow
My first step was to create the draft questionnaires that would ask the right questions of users, in a way they'd understand, to get them to the answers and outcomes they needed. These draft questionnaires mapped the questions as well as the questionnaire pathways and logic.
These were a fundamental first step. Working closely with the client's legal experts, we were able to ensure we were meeting regulatory requirements prior to spending valuable design time going back and forth on the fine print.
By the time these were complete, I'd written questionnaires for multiple practices in a range of different jurisdictions.
Visual user flows
Once the questionnaires were compliant with local legislation and signed off, I turned my attention to documenting the detailed logic underpinning the questionnaire by creating user flows. These detailed maps of questionnaire paths were a vital artefact for both the interface design to come, as well as for the technical implementation team's reference during development.
Wireframing the interface
Thanks to the detailed work I'd completed early on to finalise the questionnaire and its logic, I was able to move into wireframing knowing exactly what the tool needed to achieve at a granular, step-by-step level.
I explored a range of UI treatments. However, after closely considering the sensitive legal nature of the tool, and the needs of the potentially emotionally-distraught and injured users, I landed on a simple linear, wizard-like format with a progress tracker. This gave people more information and help when it was required, greater overall feedback and control throughout the process, and simpler and more familiar patterns of interaction.
Before moving into high-fidelity UI design, we wanted to validate our thinking by testing the solution with real prospective clients. We could not responsibly hand our designs over for development until we'd done so.
I then tested the prototype with 10 prospective clients (5 participants within 2 core legal practices). I observed their use of the prototype, probing for pain points and opportunities to improve. I also explored user comprehension of the questionnaire survey to ensure we'd got the language right and made the process as clear as possible.
From this testing, we took away a number of interesting insights, which we then used to iteratively improve our designs.
From here, we ran another round of testing with 10 more participants. Results from this second round of testing highlighted further improvements but were overwhelmingly positive, safely leading us into the final high fidelity UI design of the tool and handover to the development partner.
In its first week after being launched to the public, the lawyers available for online bookings were fully booked with qualified prospective clients for the following month, and reliance on the call centre team had been drastically reduced. To this day, performance of the tool remains incredibly strong, and further optimisation and expansion of it is planned.
What did I learn?
This was an amazing project to work on, as it directly improved access to justice for Australians who were suffering through difficult times.
I learned that no matter how hard you try and empathise, nothing will ever come close to the impact that can be made when designing products with direct input from the people who need to use them.
Due to the legal complexity and emotional sensitivity of the material, I learned to become far more comfortable with the fact that I know nothing, and that's completely OK. Freeing, in fact. Since becoming more comfortable with that, my work has improved ten-fold. I'm asking more questions and exploring a wider range of design possibilities than I ever did before.
The tools we have at our disposal as design practitioners can get us very close, but if we assume we've learned everything, we veer into dangerous territory and close ourselves off from so many new, exciting and more appropriate possibilities.
What I'd change
If I were to do this all over again, I'd have loved to have had the time and budget to bring prospective clients into the process earlier, to more closely understand their emotional and informational needs early on, and to co-design the experience from the ground up with them. While I'm satisfied our rounds of prototype testing enabled us to incorporate their needs appropriately, their involvement throughout the entire project would have been beneficial.