WestLaw Legal Research System

In order to design products that would best support their customers’ research needs, the WestLaw New Product Development team wanted to understand the various environmental and case-related factors that influenced and/or shaped how legal research was conducted. In addition, they wanted to understand how these factors, combined with the case context, could affect initial research behaviors and patterns and how those behaviors could change throughout the course of a legal research project.

A complex project, both in terms of scope (over 60 legal researchers were observed in cities all across the United States) and organization (the project was also intended to kickstart a closer, more collaborative relationship the New Product Development and Market Research groups within), Inovdesigns was responsible for directing the efforts of 3 separate, 3-person research teams during both the data collection and analysis phases.

Data Collection

Data collection efforts included identifying sequence of steps taken when conducting research; capturing notable research patterns, behaviors and strategies; rating and ranking questionnaires for participants; capturing photos and other environmental attributes; and documenting existing UI and system usability issues that could play a factor in how research was conducted.

Affinity Mapping, Personas, and User Strategy/Behavioral Modeling

Research artifacts were then synthesized during a multi-day data analysis workshop which included affinity mapping for research tasks and strategies, the creation of user personas to help drive other product development and marketing efforts and recommending system design changes that could be implemented immediately to benefit users.