Al Avery

User Experience Design

User Experience Design

Project

Information Dashboards

Summary

Creating financial and information dashboards to aid legal practice management.
legal dashboard (detail)

I spent the better part of a couple years producing data and financially-rich dashboards for a law firm. Developing those dashboards required working with:

  • users of the dashboards – understanding their contexts and needs
  • firm management – why they wanted the dashboards and what they hoped to accomplish with them

It also required significant research and understanding of the financial data of the firm – the way the financials affected individual lawyers, the practice groups they were part of, and the corporate level. Balancing out those needs required working with not only the immediate stakeholders (lawyers and C-suite) but also the finance team and knowledge management team so that meaningful data was being presented that was 1) easy to understand, and 2) actionable.

Financial dashboard for an individual lawyer’s legal practice

In the sample dashboard above (created for the individual lawyer), the progression of data starts at a high-level and as you move down the screen it gets more detailed. This view showed lawyers if they were reaching their targeted hourly billing goals, if they had work that needed to be billed, and what work was the most profitable. The dashboard also helped individual lawyers by giving them a high level view of their practice financial health – and helping to avoid uncomfortable questions by having the information to take action before any aspects of their practice got out of kilter.

Legal client dashboard

The client dashboard (seen above) also provided lawyers with a high-level view of the work being done for a specific client. Tappable areas were available to provide more details if the user wanted them (see second screenshot). Many lawyers, we found, liked to drill down into the finer details.

Deep Work

Producing these dashboards meant not only doing the research to understand the needs/wants, contexts and desired business impact of creating them, it also required that I gain a much deeper understanding of how the firm operated from financial and structural perspective.

Development

Once we had a design ready for development, I worked closely with our development team to produce them. Starting with detailed specs and then working with them on a regular basis in daily Agile scrum meetings.

The introduction of dashboards increased the legal usage of the firm’s Intranet by 166%.

Results

Adding the tools in these dashboards into the everyday work of the firm’s lawyers, the firm noted an appreciable increase in revenue collections and less lag in billing. Practice group leaders also noted that it was easier reconfigure the teams working on legal matters as they could more readily visualize each lawyer’s current workloads. The introduction of dashboards to the firm’s Intranet increased use of the Intranet by 166%.

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