Finding and consulting lawyer online — UX Case Study
Though India has seen tremendous growth in multiple sectors, legal system of the country still lags behind.
One of the major gaps of Indian legal system is finding a ‘good’ lawyer. Common man struggles to find a decent advocate according to his/her requirements and constraints.
Note: UI is still WIP. However, showing a glimpse of the screens before we dive deep into UX.
What is Digital Suits?
Primary Goal : An app where one can easily find and compare lawyers and hire the best possible lawyer according to one’s own requirement. (Requirement can vary from person to person i.e. fees, rating, work experience, location etc.)
Secondary Goal : Users can also find legal assistance from lawyers in the form of free questions. Users can also have access to articles written by registered lawyers on Digital Suits to gain insights to common legal issues/ problems etc.
Problem Statement ❔
Finding and hiring the best possible lawyer according to one’s own requirements & priorities, on one platform, that can be trustworthy, reliable and can provide all possible details of the lawyer.
I’ve worked on solving the problem by designing a mobile application interface for the same. App name: Digital Suits. Yes, you are right, stole half of my app title from the famous series. :P
Understanding the legal system 🧾
First and foremost, getting to know law. Due to less familiarity with the topic, I did research. Lots of it! Check out below the insights I gathered.
- Among lawyers, peer recommendations and word of mouth marketing help a lot in getting clients.
- How people contact and hire a lawyer?
3. Legal areas? Oh, there are tons of them! Took me days to make this chart. Also, any modifications required are welcomed. :)
Understanding the user👤
I interviewed 9 users, of multiple age groups (23yrs –70yrs) and from multiple fields (students, govt servicemen, private sector employees, business men).
After taking user interviews following pain points were discovered. Most of the users did lawyer research offline and for online relied on Google, LinkedIn only.
After listing the major pain points of users, it was clear that the best way to solve the problem is by designing a mobile interface that could ensure a user friendly system for everyone to find and consult the best possible lawyer online since everyone has their own preferences and constraints.
Surprisingly only few of them were aware of other online platforms designed specifically to hire and consult lawyer online. Why? Let’s see.
Understanding the Competitors 🦾
Competitive analysis is a good practice to gain ample knowledge about a certain industry you do not have much familiarity with. Hence did in depth analysis of Digital Suits Competitors.
To gain more insights from users I checked play store reviews and conducted f2f interviews where users were asked to use the competitor apps. New pain points that came into picture other than above assumed limitations:
Further Brainstorming 💭
The types of consultations, ways to contact the lawyer that can be provided to the user.
- Users of older age group 50+ preferred face 2 face meet, and others preferred f2f if lawyer is somewhere close. So included booking time slot for f2f meet at lawyers office.
- Video consultation — most were comfortable since pandemic made everyone switch to online. In fact this will save time and effort of connecting to lawyer somewhere far but at the same time can connect with a good lawyer for counselling and then can hire if he is good. For case solving people will hire because winning case >>>>> travelling distance of lawyer.
- Phone consultation — for users who cannot afford hefty fees of lawyers but want a decent opinion regarding their case
- Email consultation — removed since no one is willing to type and describe the case
Additional Features: (stolen from competitors apps)
1. Free Questions — Users found it useful since it gave them an option to ask even basic legal queries, or at least will get an idea of what to do as first step when stuck in some sort of situation.
2. Blogs/ Articles — Useful to the user for common queries, such as How to register for GST?, Recovery Procedure of consumer court cases, Regulation of cryptocurrency in India etc. or update about any recent case/ supreme court order, PILs ongoing. This will also increase lawyers reach.
Trust, privacy and reliability on app and lawyers present on it came as most repeated fear and pain point of the user. Thus
Lawyer Profile —
This is the most important section of the app, since the data presented here will increase or decrease the trust of the user upon the lawyer registered on DS and hence will accordingly book the appointment. It will include all below info to make the app reliable and trustworthy for the user.
Specializations, fields in which lawyer practices law. It was observed that lawyers mention multiple fields just to get clients even when they were not proficient in it. Hence top (max 5) proficiencies will be shown to user separately from other practice areas.
Enrolment No, means there is definitely a lawyer and if user is still doubtful, user can himself check the same by going on supreme court website. Check out here. (My friend’s batch enrollment list)
Office Address, gives the office location of lawyer, where lawyer sits. This can be useful especially when user is booking f2f consultation with the lawyer. And there can also view his location on map. Hence helpful for user to decide how far or close he is from the lawyer.
Work Experience, most important feature for a lawyer. As they say, fee of lawyer increases with years of experience! Past work experience can be shown in detail i.e. where and what lawyer has been practicing.
CTA- Book your session, booking for counselling session page will open where user can view the available slots and can book and proceed with payment.
Rating & reviews are the most important factor whether to rely on lawyer or not, as derived by user interviews. Also we have a special review system, where a lawyer needs to get both client (1/2/3 scale) and peer reviews( A/B/C scale)and accordingly he will get rating which will affect his appearance in search results.
Thus best rated lawyer is rated as A1. Whereas worst rated is C3. Review System thus is a USP of Digital Suits.
User flow ↹
How screens will look like?💭
Final screens ✔✔
As mentioned before, this is still work in progress.
Future scope 👀
Extending the application process to provide an e-hearing platform also to the user thus digitalizing the end to end process for the client, i.e. from finding the right lawyer to hiring the lawyer to keeping a check of case status on app itself. If anyone is interested in brainstorming on this further, feel free to reach.
Learning/ Takeaways 📝
Since this is my first case study, there was an immense amount of learning! I truly enjoyed every bit of it. Also I really believe in this idea!
- Focusing and diving deep into one problem than picking up too many problem statements.
- How to hire a lawyer! :P
- Emphasize, define, ideate, prototype and test.. Well, in reality the process is NOT this straightforward! A lot of going back and forth, multiple iterations took place before reaching the final solution.
What could I have done better?
- Conducting interviews from a larger section of lawyers and users by visiting the court but couldn’t, thanks to the pandemic! :(
- Know when to stop instead of keep on iterating and making changes thinking it is improving my work. It backfired! :((((((
Too much time consumed in research work since the topic picked up wasn’t very familiar.
If you have made it this far, I believe I did a decent job in keeping you engaged. :D Leave claps, comments, message and let me know what you think of this case study.