Leysia Palen of Univ. of Colorado Boulder has made an interesting, succinct one-sheet to lay out different research methods for people working in tech and design. It makes clear some of the key camps in how we can learn how to make better, more usable technology products — and produce learning outcomes & research papers along with the products themselves.
This type of write-up points towards a way of research for legal tech & design, that departs from the traditional ways of legal research. We can learn about what the best new models of legal services delivery by building things, and using these prototypes as research tools to test with users, and gather qualitative & quantitative data about how the users respond to them.
These methods are already used commonly in Computer Science & Human Computer Interaction fields. We can import them into the legal academy as well, to gather richer and grounded knowledge about where we should be investing our resources and what kinds of new products we should be building to serve lay consumers & legal professionals.