The role of in-depth interviews – redesign of the application for attorneys
Redesign of the application in the form of a Word plugin that enables searching for definitions and errors in documents. How to find out what attorneys’ expectations are? About how we discovered the real needs and pains of users during in-depth interviews, you’ll learn from our case study on cooperation with Define.
We met with Define a little earlier, in August 2018. The client came to us then with a request for help with the redesign of the attorney application in its initial version. Now, over 1.5 years later, the time has come to introduce further changes and facilities that needed both a new graphic design and, first of all, a thorough testing with users. You can learn more about the tool and law in the UK from our earlier case study.
We divided the work process into 4 sprints – despite the fact that each of them focused on a different scope of work, our actions were smooth and permeated to finally provide the best solution.
Sprint 1 – Getting to know the project and the market
Initial state of work
We started our work by familiarizing ourselves with the tool and collecting feedback from the client. During our first conversation, we asked not only about the expectations of the changes they wanted to make, but first of all, about the real reason behind them – why now? This simple question has allowed us to understand the true idea and needs behind the project. We received access to both the latest versions of the plugin and specific guidelines along with a detailed description of the proposed changes, which allowed us to quickly build a plan for the verification process of hypotheses put forward by the client.
In addition to independent user tests of the Define add-on, we focused on a thorough analysis of the competition. Despite the small number of solutions related to this type of app for attorneys, we also focused on plug-ins for the simple detection of grammatical and stylistic errors in the text, thus building a comprehensive base of positive and negative patterns. The database was both a help and information for the client about possible directions of changes. The analysis document itself contained as many as 20 pages – so we used an internal division into detailed descriptions of competing applications and general solutions from other industries to help draw conclusions from the collected materials.
Planning on doing research and accompanying changes
After learning about the client’s expectations and the tool, despite the ongoing competition analysis, the time has come to plan and conduct research in the same time. Due to limited access to users because of long working hours, we had to completely adapt to the possible dates – the first conversation took place on the third day of work. Thanks to the clear presentation of expectations, we were able to prepare the interview script in a very short time. The questions were divided into 3 parts and developed based on the goal we wanted to achieve.
- Introductory questions – in this short phase we verified whether the users correspond to the previously developed persona and gained further knowledge about their work process. We asked questions about, among others, the document correction process or preferences regarding work on printed materials.
- User tests, moderated product verification – during the conversation we asked users to share their desktop and perform short tasks related to things such as finding a definition or creating it. Due to these, as it might seem, simple exercises, we were able to learn their way of thinking as well as verify the hypotheses made earlier.
- Supplementary questions – in addition to in-depth questions during the tests, we asked a few simple questions at the end about the preferences related to the installation process and the first steps in the tool.
Before the first conversation, we conducted the so-called Dry Tests with the team – interviews in which our colleagues participated. Such preliminary conversations allow you to verify the script and catch possible inaccuracies in the questions. Especially with such quick action, conducting a dry test is crucial to be able to get as much useful feedback from the first conversation as possible.
Sprint 2 – Further research and preparing an audit
In-depth interviews and ongoing adaptation
Due to restrictions on access to users, interviews had to be adjusted on a regular basis not only in terms of time, but also the exact wording of the script. By setting specific goals for the questions and prioritizing them, we were able to manipulate their form as well as modify the order or occurrence on an ongoing basis. It helped us gather necessary information despite different number of people during interviews or level of advancement.
We could divide the interviews in two cases:
- attorneys previously acquainted with the product and truly appreciating it (so-called true fans),
- attorneys working on the solution for the first time.
The second group of participants turned out to be the most crucial for us, which allowed us to check the intuitiveness of the solution. People belonging to it were divided into two subgroups. The first subgroup learned the tool only during the interview, discovering the interface on their own, checking all functions for the first time. The second one got acquainted with a demo film prepared by our client just before the session, where all the functionalities of the solution were presented.
The division of users and small changes in the tests, despite the seemingly similar script, enabled to distinguish which actions were taken accidentally and which deliberately. For example, showing a demonstration movie of a few minutes at the very beginning of the meeting verified how much easier it is to operate on the program (despite the fact that the application is still simple and intuitive)
Audit and its importance for the project
Gathering information about the solution, competition and user behavior is one thing – combining them into specific design guidelines is another. We carry out detailed documentation during each project, which allows quick access to all developed research materials and summaries. They contain the main summaries of each project part (such as interviews or competition analysis) along with the possibility of a quick transition to the full report from the developed part. One of them is the UX Audit, which in the case of the product of this solution has been divided into 2 parts.
In the first of them, we focused on the current version of the studied application for attorneys and disassembly into first parts. By testing all functionalities one after another, both on our own and during tests with users or colleagues, we were able to catch all even minor operational problems.
The second and most important part concerned change suggestions. The materials we collected during two weeks of work were presented as recommendations for actions that should be performed both in the UX / UI design zone, as well as technological solutions and further activities related to product development.
UX audit – when it comes to product development – is a key document that allows to organize work before further steps. Thanks to this, we were able to clearly present all the conclusions to the client, as well as our proposed changes before the discussion summarizing the research part. The detailed description allowed the client to better explain the recommendations, which resulted in full understanding of the further steps that we wanted to take.
Sprint 3 i 4 – UX and UI applications and onboarding process
After developing the information that is the basis for design changes, it’s time to redesign the attorney application. We have a complex task ahead of us – to create a new graphic and functional design not only for the Word plug-in, but also for new subpages on the website.
Due to the large number of changes in the solution, we started our work with visually high prototypes, to which we gave the client access on a regular basis for feedback. Ongoing communication and quick exchange of opinions is very important, as it allows us to immediately make corrections, thus reducing the time of work. The accepted screens were visually refined to keep a modern look, consistent with the graphic image of the website.
Summary of our work – in numbers and more
Hours of interviews and their analysis
Pages of reports
What happens next with the app? At the moment, the client team is implementing the changes we’ve recommended, and we’re looking forward to Define’s further successes.
Tools used in the project
- Moderated product verification
- In-depth interviews
Case study isn't enough?
Would you like to learn about the whole process and how we could carry it out in your organization?