Making Open Door Legal's services accessible

About the Organization

Open Door Legal provides free legal services to disenfranchised communities in San Francisco. As a problem-solver who is passionate about design for good, I was delighted to volunteer as a user experience designer for the revamp of their website.

The Scope

The UX team for this project consisted of four individuals working on both design and research. We scheduled a kickoff meeting to implement agile methodology, establish our meeting cadence, and evaluate the scope of the project.

We had six weeks for design and research, and then I would build the page on WordPress over the following month. Working off a robust Miro board, we ensured we were organized and always on track.

Assessing the Current Legal Aid Landscape

As individuals, we researched legal aid access on the internet and best practices in this field. Then we came together to discuss what we found to be successful and features that would be useful in our endeavor.

User Research

By meeting with key stakeholders, we identified two primary user groups: potential clients and donors.

Our main objective was to create a seamless user flow for potential clients with the key performance indicators being decreasing the bounce rate and increasing the number of case intake forms submitted online.  

We interviewed Open Door Legal’s clients, donors, attorneys, and frontline staff to identify key pain points in how legal assistance was being accessed through their website, in addition to how donations were being made.

Through our user interviews, surveys, and affinity mapping, we found that most people attempting to access Open Door Legal’s services did not speak English as their first language and did not trust the internet.

The Initial Problem

The website was designed several years ago with mostly donors in mind, so potential clients searching for legal aid were struggling to find it.

Initially, when potential clients would attempt to access aid, they’d click "Get Help" in the global navigation and only find outdated information about Covid-19 and a single question that led to a 20 minute survey without an introduction or context on what would happen to the information they provided.

Original User Journey

By reviewing their Google Analytics, we found users would click "Get Help," then click in a circle to view every other page on the site in order to acquire more information before returning to complete the survey.

Optimal User Journey
User Journey Mapping

The entire redesign was created with trust in mind, since our user research showed that potential clients were seeking legal aid in times of immense distress and wanted the service they chose to feel welcoming and safe. Through journey mapping, we were able to clearly identify our areas for improvement.

Our Solution

By building trust with potential clients through examples of case areas, testimonials, and clear information architecture, they feel more assured in providing the personal information necessary to start their legal case.

Client Testimonials

We added client testimonials so users could hear how ODL had helped others who had been in the same shoes. In developing this page on WordPress, I made these sections easy for site editors to update so that the ODL staff could rotate voices when they received new testimonials.

Common Case Areas

By grouping common case areas and specific issues that usually fall under them, users would be able to self-identify what they are experiencing and know that Open Door Legal has experience dealing with that exact situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Pulling data from our user research, we implemented the frequently asked questions section to answer all the pain points that came up with real clients, and chose this format so that users could almost hear it in their own voice. At the end of the FAQ, we included information on how they could have additional questions answered.

Clear and Readily Available Call to Action

We had one call to action on this page: submit your case. We added this button at the end of each section so that no matter where users were on the page, if they decided they were ready to start the intake form, they would immediately have that option available.

From Design to Development

Once the Figma prototype had been approved by key stakeholders, I was given the green light to build the new design on their WordPress site. I ensured all elements were developed responsively, so that no matter what device was being used, the information would be accessible.

QA Review, Usability Testing, and Overall Reception

I conducted a quality assurance review on desktop and mobile to ensure the page was working properly. I also led usability testing to ensure the task flow worked as we expected. 

Both clients and stakeholders found the redesign intuitive and informative. The frontline team spoke of how drastically this redesign reduced their workload since many of the questions they received in person and on the phone were answered on this page.