“You have to start with the customer experience and work your way back to the technology – not the other way around.”
We came across this great quote from Steve Jobs a few weeks ago and wanted to share it because all of us who work with technology have seen what happens when innovations truly serve the user.
Most lawyers admit that their firms would benefit from deploying the latest legal technologies. But, if you have ever been responsible for helping to identify and purchase new technology at your law firm, you likely know that implementing that technology – especially something like a document management solution (DMS) – is rarely easy. Why?
Most technologies haven’t originated from inside law firms and most tech vendors don’t come from law firms either so they don’t understand law firm operations. Many also underestimate lawyers’ aversion to changing their tried and true processes, familiar processes that are second nature, and therefore personally efficient for them — even if this ad hoc approach is not necessarily the most effective for the law firm.
Additionally, system-wide technologies often require not only a large investment of dollars, they ask you to invest hours of lawyer and staff time to reach their full potential. Clearly developers haven’t followed Jobs’ advice. No wonder introducing new technology into a law firm can be a Herculean task that most don’t want to touch. But, it doesn’t need to be that way.
At the individual level, we seem to have figured out how to make technology easy for all of us. Consider our mobile phones and the apps we download in mere seconds. They’re ubiquitous now because they are easy to learn, we don’t have to change how we do things to use them and they are very very powerful. Indeed, apps let us do things we never thought were possible, from translating sentences to finding a local restaurant to booking a flight. They’re designed by people who were frustrated with something in their lives and did something about it. Indeed design started with customer’s desired experience and worked its way into the technology.
So, why can’t technology inside our law firms be just as easy? The truth is, it can be but, as Jobs says, we need to start with our customers’ experiences.
MetaJure is just one example of what can happen when developing legal technology starts from the user’s point of view. We know that with technology that is intuitive and easy
for firms to put in place, lawyers and staff experience the value right away. So, implementation is fast and easy, too. And that’s what our customers consistently tell us.
Built by lawyers for lawyers, MetaJure allows users to save and work with documents in whatever way feels most comfortable to them, regardless of whether they are working on a desktop, laptop or mobile device. At the same time, firms no longer need to establish a mutually agreed upon format and naming conventions nor mandate that lawyers and paraprofessionals manually upload documents to a central server or a specific place in the cloud to enable file sharing. With the ease of a Google search, anyone at the firm can find and retrieve all of the active and archived documents they are authorized to see.
The bottom line: technologies that are designed for users and work the way they work are the technologies that everyone embraces.