How do we create better innovations in the justice system?

How do we know what the most pressing needs of the community are?

How do we determine what the most promising designs and engagement strategies are?

How do we evaluate ideas’ impact early and often, to see if our proposed solutions work?

And how can we best embed solutions into a community, so people engage with them?

This methods section of our website collects together resources, experiments, and case studies that you can use to create better innovation in the justice system. We have begun with a methods page on User Testing and will continue to add more pages. Please explore below as well, to see some high-level outlines of what you might consider doing in your design and innovation work for access to justice.




On this page, we are collecting methods for the whole journey of an innovation process. It is meant for practitioners in courts and legal aid groups, for designers and technologists working on legal and social system innovation, and for academics who are studying this area.

The methods are grouped into use cases — depending on what types of knowledge and outcomes they produce. We have links to toolkits that demonstrate these methods in greater detail and give examples. We also link to model stories, that describe specific implementation of the methods for a particular context.



Methods to Understand the Situation and Users’ Needs

  1. Interviewing users and stakeholders
  2. Mapping out the status Quo
  3. Deep-dive Why’s
  4. Behavioral statistics


Methods to Synthesize Insights + Reframe Problems

  1. System Maps
  2. Cause-Consequence Loop Diagrams
  3. Concept Maps and Affinity Diagrams
  4. Root-Thorn Maps, Iceberg Diagrams

Methods to Prioritize

  1. Card Sorting
  2. Delphi Ranking
  3. Ideabooks
  4. Science Fairs

Methods to Generate new Ideas

  1. Brainstorm modes: group, silent, analogous
  2. Creative Matrix
  3. Participatory co-design
  4. Board Game pieces
  5. Dot Frankensteins

Methods to Prototype Early Stage Concepts

  1. Enactments, improv
  2. Paper prototypes
  3. Storyboards
  4. Sketched digital screens
  5. Tangible props
  6. Concept video

Methods for Early Stage Evaluation

Please see a fuller write-up on our User Testing methods page. Here is a shortlist of evaluation tools.

  1. Priority Sorts
  2. Over-the-shoulder observation
  3. Usage and interviews
  4. Dot votes at an idea fair
  5. Field Tests: counting usage
  6. Usability evaluation – Likert scale
  7. Dignity/procedural justice evaluation
  8. Comprehension quiz
  9. Affinity/aesthetics tests