by Margaret Hagan, also published at Legal Design and Innovation
Along with Daniel Bernal, I’ve been teaching a Stanford d.school pop-up class, Design for Justice: Eviction. We’ve been working with a team of 10 students and a network of experts, legal aid groups, and courts, to plan out new ways to support people who have received eviction notices.
The challenge of the class is: what can we provide to people who have just received an eviction summons and complain in the mail, to help them understand their rights and feel empowered to show up to court?
In the first class, Daniel laid out the background research and concepts. He is working on his PhD with this challenge as his focus, and he got the team up to speed on the current legal landscape and self-help offerings.
From there, our student teams began scoping hypotheses — new insights and concept designs of what could address the challenge. Then, within a month, we vetted these with our network of experts, to get their ranking of importance and viability. And our designers and developers sprinted to create medium-fidelity, working versions of the concepts that were vetted.
This past weekend, we subjected these mid-fidelity prototypes to user testing, with people who have been evicted previously. We’ll be writing up our findings more thoroughly later — but for now we just wanted to show the evolution of one design over a month.
The evolution of a legal self-help website
One of the main vehicles for this self-help will be a website. Here is it’s journey in sketches and images.
We had 3 different versions of the May 19th website — we’ll be streamlining these based on feedback into one higher-fidelity site. We’re digesting all the user feedback we received at our latest testing session to redraft the site. All this is aiming towards a trial that Daniel will run over the summer of new self-help interventions, likely including a website, to see how people engage and use them in real life.
The evolution will continue, stay tuned!