Datacert: Findings from Macadamian user interviews and usability tests are the foundation of a new technology platform for enterprise legal management.
Since 1998, Datacert solutions have helped corporations, law firms and intellectual property (IP) organizations to better manage their operations.Datacert legal matter management and legal spend management software products help law departments gain greater visibility into - and better manage - their legal and IP matters while simplifying internal processes and securely moving invoices electronically.
“Our products are used in the enterprise legal management industry,” explains Diana Massaro, VP Marketing at Datacert. “Our software solutions help clients keep track of legal cases – also called ‘legal matters’ – and the documents, costs, time worked, and spending attached to them.”
While Datacert had traditionally offered products for legal matter management and legal spend management, the company wished to develop a comprehensive solution that allowed clients to consolidate their Datacert applications, along with their other best-in-class legal or enterprise applications, on a common platform. The new, more robust product would have to be intuitive and easy for clients to implement, configure and use.
“Our user base is largely made up of attorneys and paralegals who are very busy and don’t have the time to learn a new technology,” notes Massaro. “If the software is not intuitive, they simply won’t use it. For this reason, most of our prospects’ buying criteria center around the user interface and how easily information can be obtained.”
In order to develop the most intuitive interface possible, Datacert wanted to better understand the goals of its target clients and the tasks they would perform. Datacert turned to Macadamian for user research and usability help.
Understanding user needs
“As we began to develop the product, we reached out to existing clients who were willing to act as development partners,” Massaro recalls. “Macadamian’s experts interviewed ten or twelve intended users at each company to understand the work they performed and to better understand how they would interact with the software.”
Macadamian developed usage scenarios and user personas that modeled “a day in the life” of a typical user, focusing on user goals, motivations and behaviors. These scenarios guided the development of an information architecture and a series of product wireframes.
Observing users in action
Using the wireframes as a low-fidelity prototype of the new Datacert product, Macadamian observed the actions of previously interviewed users as they interacted with the prototype.
“Macadamian had users perform typical tasks, such as adding a note to a particular matter,” Massaro recalls. “They videotaped the users and we were able to watch those recordings to learn where people were getting lost as they interacted with the product.”
Datacert made a number of alterations to its initial interface designs as a direct result of the usability tests. “We were surprised to learn how often users would access the product’s search tool,” recalls Massaro. “The usability tests showed that we had not thought enough about what people would be looking for via search and how we should present the results.”
The usability test results also revealed that users would benefit from the presence of specific task-oriented tabs on the user interface. “Our in-house design teams worked with the interface design experts at Macadamian to make sure that the research findings were accurately reflected in the final product,” Massaro says.
Meeting user needs
Datacert was able to develop and launch a final product – named PassportTM – that is both robust and easy to use. “The feedback from clients, prospects and our internal sales team has been overwhelmingly positive,” says Massaro. “Users have told us that it is extremely easy to use and we’ve received very positive reviews on the interface.”
In addition to praising Macadamian’s usability knowledge, Datacert credits the success of the Passport product design to the close relationship the two companies built over the course of the project. “Macadamian’s employees felt like an extension of the Datacert team,” Massaro notes. “They were always focused on the end user and the development of quality software in a cost-effective manner and we really appreciated that.”
Macadamian continues to work with Datacert – providing usability training to the staff and presenting usability lunch and learns to Datacert’s sales and marketing teams. “Macadamian is very comfortable transferring and transmitting its knowledge, and the usability knowledge they have given us will help us to further develop the Passport platform and other Datacert solutions going forward.”
Macadamian is a global software consultancy that helps companies create successful products. Product development leaders turn to Macadamian to develop product strategies, design compelling user experiences, and build quality software. We transform ideas into market-ready products that your customers will love. For more information, please visit www.macadamian.com or email email@example.com.
Datacert is a technology innovator and the premier global provider of enterprise legal management software and services that empower law departments to collaborate more effectively, manage legal systems more efficiently, support changing business needs and their global workforces, and make more strategic business decisions. Datacert’s offerings include its flagship product, Passport, a patent-pending technology platform, and legal spend and matter management applications. Datacert solutions are relied upon by Fortune® 500 corporations, Fortune® Global 500 corporations, and 100 percent of the AmLaw 200. Headquartered in Houston, with offices throughout North America, EMEA, and APAC, Datacert has law firm, vendor, and agent connections in more than 150 countries. Visit www.datacert.com for more information and follow us on Twitter for real-time updates http://twitter.com/Datacert