What’s on a lawyer’s mind. Legal user experience

Why

At Peppercorn, a place for making your contracts online, we wanted to understand how to categorize contracts on the main web page. We wanted to make them accessible for non-lawyers as they usually don’t know traditional legal categories (i.e. IP contracts, commercial contracts etc.): how would they look for and find what they need?

How

In May and June 2013 WildLawyer ran an Open Card Sorting, an experiment quite usual among information architects. We asked people to sort contracts in categories and label each category as they liked. We collected 273 answers from lawyers and non-lawyers, belonging to French, Italian and English speaking groups. We noticed that non-lawyers tend to categorize things differently from lawyers – who have been trained on precise legal categories – and that Civil and Common lawyers use different legal categories. As the results ended up being useful not only for Peppercorn’s website, but also for research purposes, we shared our findings with the University of Cardiff.

Resources

A full report of the results, with datasets, is here.

Article published on the Fuzzy Law project webpage, run by the University of Cardiff.

Date:
May-June 2013