User Research

We are gathering the existing user research about different stakeholders in the law world.

Here are some of the sources — hopefully to be put together into some comprehensive maps, systems, and reports in the future — but for now, a good resource for those working in this space.

  • Does virtual court mean more or less meaningful participation by litigants?
    What research can we do to understand if virtual hearings improve or degrade the quality of justice that civil litigants get in courts?
  • What Law can learn from Digital Epidemiology
    There is an interesting movement in public health research, around using people’s online posts, clicks, website visits, searches, and other behavior to better understand what health issues are: see Digital epidemiology: tracking diseases in the mobile age. Could we have a similar field in Legal Research? In which we are able to better: forecast the ‘big problems’ in ...
  • Is the user experience of going into a court building like dying?
    Last week’s New York Times Magazine features a beautiful quote and accompanying exploration of what it means to a person in a bureaucratic building. The original quote from Elif Batuman’s (terrific!) 2017 novel The Idiot observed how going through airport security is like death. You, the person, give your precious things up, and subject yourself to ...
  • F#*$ Court – a foster youth feedback
    The voice of Sade Daniels, about what it feels like to go through the court system as a foster youth, at the Plenary of Beyond the Bench.
  • What would a better Internet for Legal Help look like?
    This week I have been finishing up my research paper on what user-centered standards for better online legal help sites would be. I had surveyed lay adults about how they’ve used the Internet in the past to respond to legal issues, and then also had them do some searches for legal help & reviews of ...
  • Can we use TV-law-love to improve real-life legal services?
    I have been writing up my findings from a recent research study I did, on how lay people use the Internet to respond to legal problems that crop up in their lives.  I’m doing this as part of a longer design research inquiry, to develop best practices, guiding standards, and new models for online legal ...
  • Law for Normal People
    Originally posted on the d.school’s Whiteboard: Over this past fellowship year, I’ve run so many workshops and pop-up classes on how to make law more engaging and usable for “normal people”. People with legal problems or who aren’t highly educated are not alone in this “normal” bucket. People with PhDs, highly paid professionals, even law school graduates ...
  • Berkman Center Report on Access to Justice in courts
    I just discovered a rich design document & user research study conducted by a team out of Harvard’s Berkman Center in 2010. It looks at how more access & usability can be built into current civil court processes. And one of its co-authors is Phil Malone, who has just joined Stanford Law School’s team, as director ...
  • Courthouse Design: Insights
    In 1994, Richard Zorza and Judge Robert Keating published a paper full of insights from their attempt to redesign the interfaces that judges & court officials used when prosecuting drug offenders, in Midtown Community Court. This quick 4-pager paper The Ten Commandments of Electronic Courthouse Design, Planning, and Implementation: The Lessons of the Midtown Community Court ...
  • Law Student as User
    Law students are known to complain a little about law school, but I’d like to capitalize on the complaints — they are essentially user needs ripe for research. I sketched down some of the top complaints about law school that were made in a recent law class. They point to some main trends that stake out ...

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