Current Projects Eviction Innovation

Eviction diversion design workshop

Last week, Margaret Hagan traveled to Houston Texas for the National Center for State Court convening of Eviction Diversion Initiative facilitators. She ran a half day workshop on how to use human centered design to improve the program design, paperwork, and Service delivery of eviction diversion help at housing courts around the country.

This Design Workshop built on the several years of design work that the Legal Design Lab has done with courts and legal aid groups across the country, to improve how people are helped when facing eviction and their life outcomes.

Workshop participants, including lawyers, social workers, and court staff who work on running new eviction diversion programs in courts across the country, were able to go through the following sequence:

  • learning the basics of design mindsets, including focused on your users point of view and creating new experiments to see what can work better
  • choosing an example user to focus on, creating a Persona to summarize the person’s situation, needs, goals, and preferences
  • detailing that person’s current user journey through the housing and eviction system, and if they get too good or bad outcomes around housing, money, credit report, and other factors
  • zooming in on a particular touchpoint on this user journey, where a new intervention could improve the person’s experiences and outcomes
  • brainstorming many different ways that this problem/opportunity touchpoint could be improved, including with new paperwork, new Service delivery models, new space designs, new cultural or rule shifts, or new technology tools. Participants were shown an array of possible Innovation projects, which they could build on top of
  • Choosing a handful of the brainstormed ideas, to then bring home to share with colleagues and to try out in short pilots

It was wonderful to work with leaders from across the country, especially those who are so creative, empathetic, and ready to try out new ideas to make the court system work better for normal people.

Some of the ideas included:

  • new paperwork that’s more supportive, clear & encouraging
  • space redesigns in hallways and courtrooms, to make it more human, breathable, polite, and dignified
  • technology tools that offer coaching and check-ins
  • data connections to improve efficiencies, and more!

See the presentation slides for the eviction diversion design workshop.