Poor user adoption is everyone’s problem. Law firms don’t get the value that they expected or that they’re paying for; IT wastes time setting up technology that then sits idle; lawyers continue to laboriously handle tasks that the technology could do for them. Vendors suffer the consequences too, as they struggle to gather positive customer reviews or identify features that should be improved.
In short, everyone is left frustrated and dissatisfied by technology that isn’t adopted. What’s the solution?
Better Adoption By Understanding The User
We recently explored this issue in a webinar with Judi Flournoy, Chief Information Officer at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP. Judi emphasized the importance of continuously asking not “What technology do I need?” but rather “What problem am I trying to solve?” Those answers go back to conversations with the end users: the firm’s lawyers. This represents a substantial departure from the historical approach, wherein the IT department considered itself the expert, pushing technology that it decided was useful onto the firm’s lawyers without considering their needs.
To determine the true pain points that lawyers experience, Judi focuses on building human connection through empathy, the first step in Design Thinking.
Understanding Users’ Problems With Technology
It’s easy for legal technology providers to blame lawyers for their poor user adoption rates.
Lucky for us, we have a long enough history in the legal industry, and a deep enough knowledge of our audience, to see through those excuses. The truth is, lawyers don’t use their technology for a host of reasons:
it doesn’t occur to them to use it, because they don’t remember that they have it at the moment when they need it;
the technology is outside of their established workflow and represents an unwelcome interruption;
the program is too hard to learn or to navigate;
they don’t have time to stop their billable work and explore a new tool or access training sessions; and
they don’t clearly see how using the technology would benefit them.
We can design around some of these issues—through workflow integration, intuitive interfaces, and just-in-time customer support and training—and if we can make the benefits of technology clear, that alone can overcome any remaining hurdles.
Making the Benefits of Technology Obvious
Think about the first time you used Waze or another traffic-monitoring app. At first, you may not have thought about it, especially for trips where you didn’t need directions. Launching the app and telling it your destination took extra steps beyond your usual “start driving” routine. While it was easy enough to use when you remembered it, you may not have done so very often—that is, until it saved you time once or twice by diverting you around rush-hour snarls, accidents, and roadwork delays. Those experiences made the benefit of the technology clear—and suddenly you were much more likely to remember to start the app, even for routine trips.
That’s a key part of our approach to documents here at Litera Microsystems. We believe our solutions have obvious benefits: saving precious attorney time, improving the consistency and quality of your documents, and making collaboration easier.
If you missed our webinar with Judi on how understanding workflows can lead to better adoption, it’s available here.