Eisenberg & Baum, LLP

The problem: Dealing with workplace discrimination and sexual harassment is already traumatizing, but the added frustration of finding lawyers and going through the process of taking their claim to court is a nightmare.

The solution: Our goal is to help clients transform their anger and distress into empowerment. I used IDEO’s 6-step human-centered design approach to redesign onboarding, both on & offline, and better communicate the firm’s value propositions. Success = higher conversion rate (currently ~1%), ultimately leading to a monetary award.

My role: I conduct market & user research, evaluate and synthesize data, sketch and prototype potential solutions, test, and iterate. I’ve collaborated with the partners and colleagues to fill in the holes with their knowledge such as legal-specific information (attorney advertising) and client behaviors.

Time frame: March 2017 – Present.

LATEST PROTOTYPE

1 | Defining our users & understanding pain points

We’ve represented a diverse range of clients in employment-related claims, mostly who have worked in retail and restaurants. In order to define our users and understand their pain points, I mapped out the current user journey. This gives me a better sense of the emotional ups and downs they experience and what my assumptions are.

First and foremost, users are not in an emotionally-stable state. Being discriminated at the workplace and experiencing sexual harassment is terribly disturbing. With all the trauma and confusion, I assume that it must be difficult for them to make the logical decision of contacting employment discrimination lawyers and getting the help they need. Next, I analyzed this flow and wrote out the rest of my assumptions.

Lack of trust was the biggest theme. So next up, I wanted to align these pain points with what’s not working on the digital level. I created three scenarios to test the website:

1. You’ve been dealing with a homophobic boss for the last three months. Even after submitting a written complaint to HR, nothing happened. While browsing through social media, you come across an article about sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace and see a link to an attorney’s website and their phone number. What do you do?

2. After being passed up for yet another promotion, you’re infuriated because you know that your Caucasian male counterparts are earning significantly more than you for the same work. You vent to a friend who refers you to her uncle, who is an employment law attorney. You visit the website.

3. Unable to deal with the non-stop sexual harassment from your boss, you reported the incidents to HR. Your boss learns this and immediately fires you, along with your five other female coworkers. Your gut tells you this isn’t right so you Google “fired from work after sexual harassment” and you find an attorney’s website.

I conducted four tests and this was the feedback, along with a more categorized view:

The question that came up over and over was,

“What value are you providing me?”

This is important to address! Users want to know that we will unconditionally advocate for them. So, why aren’t clients seeing our value? In UX, we often say that the devil is in the details. Let’s do a heuristic analysis using Jakob Nielson’s guidelines and figure out what’s not working.

  • Language isn’t user friendly. The wording is familiar to internal staff and folks in legal, but it’s not language used by regular people.
  • Too many inconsistencies. Three CTA buttons and they’re all different. Where does the CTA even lead to – A form? A phone number? An online case evaluation quiz?
  • Visual aspects clash with brand. The orange buttons are out of the firm’s brand coloring, which are mainly navy, white and silver. Typography and informational hierarchy is all over the place.
  • Cognitive burden. The “Describe Your Situation” field requires users to recall too much information from memory. In Addition, Title Caps As Headlines Are Hard To Follow And Read.

2 | Gathering inspiration & ideating solutions

Before jumping into solutions, I wanted to get inspired. Users unanimously agreed that the process of dealing with attorneys is dreadful. One went as far as saying, “I hate dealing with attorneys – it’s the second worst thing next to dealing with folks from the IRS.” Ouch! Rather than look at other employment lawyers’ websites, I looked at companies that take the dreadful and make it delightful.

Turbo Tax: They’re a tax filing software that takes the daunting task of preparing and filing taxes and makes it effortless. A friend says she actually looks forward to doing her taxes every year because Turbo Tax makes it easy. They take users through a streamlined process and uses language that is understandable.

Oscar Health: You know you succeeded in disrupting the health insurance industry when a user says, “I would go through the process of applying for health insurance AGAIN because Oscar made it fun!” What makes their platform successful is their attentiveness to the UX even before they onboard users. With Oscar, anyone can get a free quote without providing too much information.

Virgin America: Airlines don’t necessarily have the best reputation for being a customer-centric industry. Virgin America changed all that. Their landing page is super straight forward and breaks down the process of providing information. Their interface is sleek and the overall UX is carried through outside of the digital product.

Here are what all three of these disruptive companies get right about the user experience:

  • They build trust from the start and provide emotional relief.
  • Rather than use internal and/or industry-specific language, they use language that resonate with users.
  • Every single unnecessary step has been stripped away and the end-to-end flow only asks for the minimum information needed.
  • Visually, they all look fresh and give new life to their respective industries.
  • They educate users throughout the process and explain the implications of decisions.

Comparative analysis got me pumped and I’m ready to sketch out solutions. I love using sharpies for quick sketches so I don’t dwell on the details. This process works well to develop a fuss-free vision of my ideas.

Yes, this is a longer landing page than what it currently is – I know, but hear me out. First, information is actually organized. I need to test this to see if it matches our users’ mental models but it’s better to start out with more and then eliminate what we don’t need later in the process.

Once I got the idea down, I made a more detailed sketch, focusing on the copy and information architecture. We want to educate users so I laid out all the information they might need to make informed decisions about whether or not they have a claim, eventually taking action and calling us to validate.

1. Landing page for website’s main page.
2. Landing page for workplace discrimination practice area.
3. Email form to submit inquiry/claim.

Since the website’s architecture is a mess, I did a card sort with all the categories. By doing so, I am able to produce better landing pages that remain consistent with users’ overall expectations of where things are.

To tie all this together, I did a basic sketch of the wireframe flow of the screens that I need to create and which areas click to what.

I’d also like to think about prototyping for the mobile version of our site. The firm’s monthly analytics summary states that on average, more than 70% of users are using mobile to do their search. Therefore, it’s imperative to create a responsive and mobile-friendly version of the site.

As I go into the prototyping and iterating phase, these are my considerations when designing for desktop v. mobile:

DESKTOP:

  • Content-driven. Pages should still be concise, simple and uncluttered. Emphasize visual hierarchy.
  • Desktop users do more “heavy duty” tasks like researching. The site should be easy to dig through for more information. Solid informational architecture and easy-to-locate search button will be key.
  • Clickableness and navigation.

MOBILE:

  • Make it “tap” friendly (as opposed to clicking).
  • The less steps to complete a task, the better.
  • Vertical navigation and phone integration. The CTA should directly allow the phone to call us.
  • Keep users engaged with visual excitement (more cool UI) like icons.
  • Cater to shorter attention span.

3 | Turning ideas into tangibles & validate with testing

When going from sketching to prototyping, I prioritize content and structure, over visual aspects like font and colors. The goal is to educate users to empower them so they can make an informed decision about whether or not they have a legal claim. Here’s the first iteration of the workplace harassment landing page, which will also serve as the start of the onboarding experience:

The over-delivery of information was intentional. Although we, as legal professionals, know the scope of relevant information, users don’t. Therefore, it’s imperative for me to fill the page with what we think is important to users and actually test the content that is necessary. [Full version in PDF] We need to let users tell us what is relevant to them!

A behind the scenes sneak peak.

From the landing page, I created a flow that takes users on a path where they can submit detailed information regarding their potential claim. This is based on initial feedback that users want an alternative way to get in touch. Many of them have day jobs that make it difficult to step away and call. I took that feedback and created a form, incorporated with a “quiz,” to test out the idea of submitting information through a more organized method.

Before testing, I reviewed the first prototype with colleagues for feedback, especially to get the legal perspective of information I can share on the website and what may be relevant to users.

Notes, notes and more notes!
  • Users equate “settling” a case to be completely over but in litigation, it has a very specific meaning. Instead, we should use language like, “resolve in your favor.”
  • In the form, it’s not a good idea to ask users to upload documentation up front of their discrimination because it may indicate that the firm is already getting into a relationship with users. It is good practice, however, to ask them to have their documentation ready when the firm asks for it.
  • The “past success in litigation does not always guarantee success in new and future cases” copy is extremely important!
  • Reviewing the firm’s Disclaimer page is a great place to start to understand copy-writing limitations.

Websites for law firms are already complicated in terms of communicating information to users who are not familiar with legal language in a way that is digestible. I learned of an added layer of complication with attorney advertising standards set by the New York State Bar Association. With feedback in hand, I make the appropriate changes and we get right into testing.


4 | Synthesizing feedback & finding opportunities

During initial usability testing, users commented on an alternative way to get in touch with the firm. Many of them have jobs during the day that make it difficult to call and speak to an attorney. I took that feedback and created a form, incorporated with a “quiz,” to test out the idea of submitting information through a better organized method.

I conducted three tests to validate the user flow. Unfortunately, the flow completely failed. But fortunately, I figured this early on and this why testing is great. Every user tested said they felt uncomfortable with the form flow. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Giving their name, zip code and employer up front felt like a violation.
  • The option to schedule a call is great but users wanted to do that earlier in the flow.
  • Users didn’t want to put anything in writing.

The beauty of failing early in the process is the opportunity to step back and reevaluate assumptions. My initial designed failed, meaning that my assumptions were wrong. I took users’ feedback to revisit the onboarding process:

During testing, users asked me about how to handle discrimination in the workplace and how to discuss the situation once they’re connected with an attorney. This led me to believe that despite mocking up a robust landing page full of information, users’ questions are still not being answered.

Structuring existing information so that it answers users’ questions during the process is proving to be more complicated than initially anticipated. Utilizing the firm’s blog is a good place to start. Unfortunately, their entire website doesn’t have a search bar (#badUX) so there’s no way I can type in key words to look up certain subjects. It is, however, a good source of resource to learn more.

In an effort to incorporate mobile strategy, I printed out the desktop landing page to filter out the information I absolutely need on the mobile version. Most of my decisions were based on testing feedback and what users said were the most useful. From there, I sketched a rough mockup of the mobile journey.

The good:

  • Wow, this statute of limitations explanations is helpful. I never understood this and I didn’t realize how important this is.
  • I love that you provide a lot of information. I probably wont read the entire thing but you seem to know what you’re talking about so I trust you.
  • I equate lawyers as expensive and get anxiety. I didn’t know private firms offer contingency agreements!

Useful suggestions:

  • Several users wanted a personalized “quiz” instead of reading through the entire page to see if they potentially have claims.
  • I’m a bit hesitant to call during work hours in case my employers find out. Is there a way I could speak with someone via live chat or set up a call after work hours?
  • The “Call us for a FREE consultation” button should be at the top. Don’t tell me at the bottom.

Needs improvement:

  • You don’t answer the question you ask in your header. I’m not sure what to do next.
  • The “Why choose us?” section was reassuring but it’s too much to read.
  • The boxes with various types of workplace discrimination was helpful and expect to lead to pages that provide more information such as types of behaviors.

5 | Implementing feedback & iterating

Coming soon!


NEXT STEPS

I’m working on refining the desktop prototype, while also starting a mobile prototype. I’m also creating a user interview/usability test script. Please check back and email me with any questions and/or recommendations you may have!

Cheers,

Riri

EMAIL ME

Disclaimer: This write-up is a reflection of my own views and opinions and do not necessarily reflect those of Eisenberg & Baum, LLP. I am an employee but am not writing as a spokesperson for the company.

Credit: Header photo by Christoph Schulz on Unsplash.