An evaluation framework to measure the value of Legal Design.
Why a testing lab ?
User-centered evaluation (evaluation based on users’ perspective) is a required activity in human-centered design – ISO 9241-210:2019.
We are convinced Legal Innovation by Design is the key to legal efficiency. But beyond words, we are obsessed with KPIs and tangible results
So we’ve been working with an expert in cognitive sciences, Mathilde da Rocha (PhD) to developed a testing methodology based on internationally recognized standards, adapted to legal documents.
This methodology includes user tests, online accessibility tests (taking into account color blindness for example), usability tests.
Our testing methodology
We apply two evaluation methods : the expert audit & user testing.
Combined, these methods allow us to evaluate the quality of legal documents according to the characteristics of the users, their information needs, the tasks, the environment.
We rely on internationally recognized criteria such as Scapin & Bastien (1997), the Nielsen’s heuristic principles to evaluate how users will interact with the legal documents, taking into account their personal bias.
We also evaluate the accessibility of documents following readability tests such as Flesch, Gunning Fog, ARI, Coleman Liau and SMOG. Beyond all these acronyms, the method is quite simple: they measure the level of education needed to understand a text at 1st reading, based on sentence length, sentence density and word length.
The lab opened in June 2020 but we already have some first results to share:
Based on our expertise of plain language, we have been able to significantly improve the readability of a legal document in a recent project involving vulnerable users.
Going from an academic level to a high school level of language – while retaining the full legal scope !