Thursday, December 19, 2013

A New Customer Portal is Coming

Consider us guilty. Once we set our minds to something, there’s no stopping us. “Listen, Learn, Build, Repeat,” became our mantra in 2013. While we understand the pressure and deadlines legal professionals face everyday, we didn't know how that translated into their work habits inside our portal. 

Research Process
We interviewed front line employees, mined customer survey data, and visited several law firms to learn how our core customers, legal professionals, use our Customer Portal. All of this helped us identify some areas where the portal fell short, but more importantly, some patterns emerged that helped us see where we could better tailor the portal to suit our customers. For example, we discovered most of our users are “case name” driven as opposed to order number driven; meaning searching, filtering, and viewing cases by case name and case number, were very important features. We were also reminded of how quickly paralegals and legal secretaries type, so minimizing the use of the computer mouse and the number of keystrokes in completing orders was a critical observation. Armed with copious notes, we toiled away designing and building a Customer Portal based on the feedback we gathered.

Redesign Goals
Three goals guided our design process:

1.   We deployed a new IT infrastructure to increase the speed and stability of the Customer Portal.
2.  We wanted to make the order placement workflow as efficient and intuitive as possible. So we repositioned fields into a more logical order and we streamlined each step in the ordering process by removing uncommonly used fields and minimizing the number of keystrokes and mouse clicks needed to place an order.
3.  We also beefed up our “Manages Cases” feature by displaying all related orders and documents in one place. With the click of a button, customers can now check on the status of their orders, download or print documents such as Conformed Copies or Proofs of Service, or view the details of  a case within one window!

Change is Hard
We know that change is often difficult for most people, and the new Customer Portal might take a little getting used to. While we've made cosmetic changes, we've avoided making them for cosmetic indulgence alone. Our focus was to improve the speed, stability and functionality of the Customer Portal to meet customers’ needs and wants. As technology and customers’ desires change, we feel it’s important for Rapid Legal to change with them too.

Rapid Legal’s Customer Portal will switch to its new look and enhanced features in early January. Our next blog post will show you our work so you can become familiar with the new design and understand the changes we made and why.

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