User experience

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The design of legal products


Making legal contracts a better experience

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How much difference can we make to a legal process by focusing on user experience? The following is not a million miles away from an exact replica of an approval request the JC once got.

Dear User

You have an OVERDUE Pending Approval in the Approval Platform.
________________________________________
Request-ID: 9023913
Request-Type: Legal Sourcing
Requested by: USER ID 42093220
Approval Role: Line manager CodeX5
________________________________________

Login to the Approval Platform to approve.

NOTE: THIS IS AN AUTO GENERATED EMAIL. DO NOT REPLY.

Could it get the job any more wrong?

  • Auto-generated: It is sent from an autogenerated account and you can’t reply to it.
  • Rude: Not only is it impersonal, but actively rude: “THIS IS AN AUTO GENERATED EMAIL. DO NOT REPLY.”
  • No human owner: There is no indication of who is responsible for this email. There should be a named individual in it, to whom people can complain. This might encourage that person to spend a moment on user experience. No-one will complain if it is a pleasant experience.
  • Unhelpful: It contains NO useful information about the approval. It should say:

Dear Jolly [notUser”: this is not (yet!) the movie Tron Legacy, for crying out loud.]

[A human person] has requested approval for a legal invoice from [vendor] regarding [invoice title] in the sum of [dollar amount] with the following commentary: “[commentary].”

Please click [here] to approve this request, or [here] to decline it. [each url opens into the right field in the approval platform allowing for immediate approval and comment etc]

If you have any questions about this email please contact me.

Regards, [NAME] [being a human being in the logistics team.]

It isn’t hard, is it?