Legal Health Checkup Interventions
A few weeks ago, when I logged into my browser, I got a notice from Google that they wanted to walk me through a Privacy Checkup of my Google Account. I agreed, more to observe how they treated me as a user & how they guided me through the experience of understanding my status quo & revising my options to be more in line with my preferences.
This kind of intervention could be useful for privacy interventions — but also for other ‘legal health checkups’. I am curious about how to attract people to pay more attention to possible legal remedies for their ‘life problems’ and then seek out help from lawyers, guides, software, etc. that could guide them towards being prepared & smart about the law.
So what was the Google Privacy Check-up intervention like? Here are the screenshots from it:
Even if I had not been analyzing this experience as a designer, I would have clicked on & completed this privacy check-up. It was easy to use, and it gave me interesting information about me (and like most people, I expect, it’s really interesting to learn more about me — or the alternate version of me that Google has compiled). Most importantly, it gave me a sense of choice and agency — I was able to tell Google what I wanted (within reason) and have them do it. That is a very satisfying accomplishment for a few minutes of clicking.
What are the takeaways for this when it comes to access to justice?
We could be doing compelling legal health check-ups just as we do privacy check-ups. Here’s a skeleton of the process:
- Reach out to the person, hopefully in a context (like the Google search) that relates to what you’re checking up on, so that they feel primed to engage on the topic
- Give them insights into their own status quo — tell them something about themselves that they don’t already know, or that frames it in an interesting way. It’s almost like a Buzzfeed ‘which kind are you’ quiz. Or here, where Google tells you who they think you are & what your preferences are.
- Tell them possible outcomes from their status quo. Give them a sense of what may come down the road — bad consequences, good ones, how they’ll be treated, what they’ll get — if they continue on with their current situation.
- Provide action steps in which they can immediately change their status quo — whether it’s by setting goals/preferences, taking a step to resolve a problem, reaching out to someone else for hep. Embed easy follow-up action into this review, so that the person can immediately exert their agency (while they’re still thinking about it, and while their preferences & long-term thinking are at the forefront).
That kind of service design could help loop people into taking care of their legal health — whether it’s making an estate plan or dealing with housing, employment, or financial problems they’re having.