If asked to picture a lawyer, you may think of fast-talking executives with power suits and intimidatingly firm handshakes. You might not picture a first-generation college graduate or a parent taking their kids to soccer camp.
For Jeanette Fuccella of LexisNexis, addressing the stereotype surrounding attorneys is the most important step in effective user experience design. The company provides legal analytics and software designed to help attorneys manage cases, clients, documents, and the processes that govern their fast-paced, day-to-day lives.
By conducting remote video ethnography with dscout, Jeanette and her team worked hand-in-hand with their data science team to bring user stories to life. We spoke with her about the unique advantages of running unmoderated video studies—and how we can better unearth and share the “show me moments” that convey user pain points and latent needs.
On humanizing research and development
Jeanette: About a year ago, the average engineer at our company didn’t know much about what an attorney’s day-to-day life was like.
We ran a pilot study with dscout with the goal of capturing our users’ legal research ‘highs’ and ‘lows.’ The results really humanized our users; we learned their pains and allowed the engineers to see that attorneys come in all shapes, ages, and sizes.
All of us have stereotypes of various roles, but I think the legal industry in particular has been portrayed in the media in a way that shows either perfect people or stressed-out criminal defense attorneys. We don’t know that they are parents, aunts, and friends. They’re trying to get home for soccer practice.
On turning research results into tangible experiences
Jeanette: For one project we used dscout to collect over 200 videos. Our analysis included coding by task, theme, emotion, and facial expression.
By marrying that data with the associated survey data, we were able to not only narrate a compelling story, but also create a curated video repository for stakeholders to engage with.
This study demonstrated the importance of integrating narration into discovery research, telling a story through the live capture of emotions and reactions to a prompt.
On letting the data guide big “pivots”
Jeanette: The first project we ran with dscout went beyond our expectations. We’ve pivoted entire strategies as a result of what we’ve learned through video ethnography. There would have been no way to capture that product-shifting data through a different approach.
At one time, we were marching down a very particular path, with a very particular audience, and felt very confident that we had a solution that would provide value to that audience. Pretty quickly, we learned that to be really ‘good’ at that solution was going to take much longer.
Processing legal vocabulary—which is very nuanced, particular, and specific—was key to our product design. Learning that vocabulary was going to take a tremendous amount of time. So we, in the end, shifted both in terms of audience and functionality. We’ll instead be taking a much more ‘training wheels approach’—and that will be the foundation for what we deliver long term.
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