Enhancing Accessibility in Legal Processes through Design

Project: The objective of this project was to simplify and digitize the legal processes associated with filing for consent orders and parenting affidavits. The goal was to transform complex PDF applications into an accessible, user-friendly online portal, enabling users to submit and manage forms without requiring legal assistance. This initiative aimed to make the legal process more approachable for regular people, fostering a smoother and more efficient experience.

Role: Experience Design

Year: 2024

Project Goals
Make the legal process of filing for consent orders and parenting affidavits accessible to non-legal professionals.
Enable users to collaborate with others and manage their progress within the portal.
User-Friendly Design:
Create an intuitive online platform to replace the existing PDF forms.
Streamline the submission and management of legal forms to save time and reduce errors.
Research and Insights
To gain a deep understanding of the users' needs and pain points, we conducted a series of workshops and user interviews. The insights gathered from these sessions were instrumental in shaping the design and functionality of the online portal.
Key Insights from User Interviews:
Pain Points with Existing Process:
Users found the current PDF forms complex and difficult to navigate. Lack of guidance and support led to frequent errors and incomplete submissions. Submission frequently have incorrect calculations.  The necessity of legal assistance added financial and emotional strain.

What They Liked in User Testing:
The proposed online form's intuitive layout and clear instructions. The ability to save progress and return later to complete the forms. Easy access to help text and examples for each section. Auto calculations.

Users appreciated the progressive disclosure of information, which prevented them from feeling overwhelmed.The inclusion of tooltips and validation messages significantly reduced errors. Clear, jargon-free language improved comprehension and confidence in completing the forms.

Implementing an online portal with user-friendly forms and collaborative features .Providing contextual help and real-time validation to guide users through the process. Ensuring the platform is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. Creating calculation tools to divide assets.
Information Architecture:
Organized the portal into clear sections, each dedicated to a specific part of the form (e.g., Parties Details, Relationship Details, Children's Details, Parenting, Finances, and Declaration).
User Interface Design:
Created a clean and intuitive interface with a step-by-step form completion process. Used progressive disclosure to reveal relevant questions based on previous answers, reducing cognitive load.
Ensured the platform met WCAG 2.1 guidelines for accessibility, including keyboard navigation and screen reader compatibility.
Interaction Design:
Included features such as "Save and Continue" and collaborative tools to enhance user experience. Integrated tooltips, help text, and examples to provide contextual support. Created a comprehensive clickable prototype.
Validation and Error Handling:
Implemented real-time validation and error messages to prevent incomplete or incorrect submissions. Provided clear guidance on how to correct errors. Integrated auto calculations so users don't need to do any of the maths themsleves and it's correct.