1 UX Designer (Me)
1 UX Researcher
1 Project lead
According to the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index 2021 report, Pakistan ranks 130th out of 139 countries. The country’s judicial system is dealing with a huge backlog of over 2 million cases. The average time it takes for a case to reach its conclusion in the lower courts of the country is around 5-10 years.
Looking at other countries, we found that digitisation was a solution to many of the problems with our judicial system. Some of the advantages would be, ease of access to most recent legal documents, tracking of judgements, and reduction in time and cost of research. This would be a huge step up from the largely manual and paper-based processes that were being followed to date.
Design a digital law repository that makes it easier for lawyers, judges, and students to search and curate judgements and statutes from verified sources
Search and Advanced Search
Reader & Annotation
We conducted user interviews firstly to gain an understanding of the existing processes our users followed to conduct legal research. Secondly, we wanted to validate our proposed features and gain a better understanding of how our users would interact with them. We also wanted to identify any opportunities to better cater to them. Below are a couple of highlights from the insights we gathered:
We conducted a competitor analysis to assess existing solutions for users including Pakistan Law Site and Physical Books, as well as popular academic repositories.
The Annual law digest is a book containing most recent and pertinent judgments. It is quite inefficient in the time it takes from the judgement being passed to lawyers being able to use them to build their cases. We made sure to browse through these books to understand the current legal structures and processes being followed.
We audited the closest digital solution to ours which was the Pakistan Law Site. Gathering feedback on this tool helped us focus on existing user pain points and opportunities for improvement before we started building our own solution.
We also looked at non-legal research tools such as Google Scholar, JStor, and ACM Library to evaluate features like filtering, search results, advanced search, etc. We took inspiration from individual features of each of these tools and adapted solutions according to our user needs.
I made wireframe sketches to put down a rough idea of our solutions. This helped the team align on the vision we had for our law repository before going deeper into the process.
With the wireframe sketches, I had an idea of the components that needed to be built out. I started a preliminary design system with key components and added to it as needed.
Following this process, we built an online law repository called the Digital Digest. This platform aimed to serve as a one stop for all legal documents in Pakistan. Our project was divided into phases where in the first phase we built a foundation for our repository with more data to be added later.
With this phase of the project, our users would be able to search for judgements based on multiple variables and our search engine would respond smartly accounting for human errors or variation in phrasing. They would receive search results relevant to their query and containing relevant metadata. They would be able to read, download and print these judgement documents and bookmark and organise them according to their needs. Our administrative users would be able to manually upload judgements, organise them and update metadata.
To make any product go from good to great, it is essential to iterate. We conducted review and testing with multiple groups for different insights:
The project was stopped due to political challenges in the country and the judiciary had critical matters to attend to. Fingers are still crossed that this project might restart when the situation improves.