Ideabook Work Product Tool

Better Cover Sheets on Forms

We identified that Form Packets are a central ‘thing’ in the Court System. People come to court for help, and the Clerks and Self Help Centers deliver them help through a large selection of paperwork. These papers, most especially forms, are the key commodity in which their help is communicated — and what they can walk away with.

With that in mind, we propose a new Cover Page for a form packet.

It should be human-centered, with icons, pictograms, or other visuals of people.

It should be conversational, almost as if a helpful advocate is talking to the person through the sheet.

It should prep the person for what the packet contains, and what to do with it.

It should flag common problems, and key things to remember.

Ideabook Wayfinding and Space Design

Welcome to Court! colored, problem-oriented signs

What is it?

Posters and other large-scale signage that can be placed physically throughout and around the court building, and on any web- or mobile-based court technology. It would reach out to people considering using the court by framing the problem in words they understand, using iconography and colors. It would give the person a ‘pathway’ view of what resources are available for their issue-area, and help them understand what applies to them.

How could it be implemented?    

Work with a visual designer to choose the right color scheme, fonts, and icons. Work with a content expert to choose the most important issues, and how people talk about them. Then create outreach signage that features the pathways of these issues, and that presents it in ways that will engage the target audience.

This will likely take several weeks to a month to design, and $1000 to create the signage.

Our design notes

Courts and associated legal actors must implement a coherent, user-centered signage system. It should be with larger fonts, consistent color coding, and use of pictograms. The names should be consistent across all signs, and they should be phrased in terms of the problem or task of the user that they are addressing, rather than the term that the legal system has created for them.

  • Signage review — does it all point to where you want to go
  • Large, colored signs
  • Bigger text, more graphics,  having pictograms to refer to
  • same name across all signs
  • Links of all the different offices and places to these same core problems of the users — clearer delineation of all the services that start with “Family Law”
  • Phrased in terms of users’ problem and their language (not legal categories) —  action oriented tasks rather than ‘insider terms’ for the organization
  • Main other language on the sign too — Spanish in this case
Ideabook Wayfinding and Space Design

Court Resource Easel Board


What is it?

It is a standing easel, about five feet high, with clips to attach a series of booklets. It would be more attractive than a standard “Wall of Handouts”, and it would have more structured categories and flows of resources to take.

For example, each easel would be for a specific Problem, and then each row of resources would be for a specific task to do within that task. There would be labels and context for what the handouts are — so people know what to take, and why they’re taking them.

How Could It Be Implemented?

The Courts could buy easels, attach clips to them, and then affix labels/colors to the easels to make the distinct rows and titles. Then, they would have to stock the easels with the correct resources each day to ensure sufficient ones are present.

Planning beforehand would be required, to decide which Problems should get their own Board, and then what the key tasks/categories should be for each board. Finally, the planning team would have to decide which documents or other resources should go on the Board.