SmartCourt concept homepage
The concept design for the SmartCourt homepage was a project brought to me by an Auckland-based Senior Associate, specialising in local authority and insurance litigation. His design brief was to “provide a visual for an alternative platform for dispute resolution that is user-friendly (simplicity and appeals to the lowest common denominator) and certain (in respect of financial investment and time).” The visual would then be used to present the concept to investors and begin the development of the product.
Business & user goals
The business goals of the concept were to encourage users to make use of the SmartCourt system, which involves a fee, but to communicate that the fees and times involved can be significantly less that going through the traditional court system. The user goals would initially be to find out more information about the process and cost, ultimately registering their dispute.
A key part of this visual of the SmartCourt product would be to ensure the investors could perceive the value of SmartCourt as a better alternative to the current court system to the general public (i.e. potential claimants). The assumption being, that the current court system is known for being complex, costly and confusing.
Sketches & prototype
In order to communicate this the structure of the homepage needed to clearly explain the funcion of the site, with a call-to-action for the user to start using the service, and a clear description of the process and costs involved.
With the original brief the client also referenced designs they felt reflected the brand they were striving to develop. After discussing the look and feel they were after, alongside the business and client goals, I put together a reference board that drew significantly from the Swiss school of design. The clean, uncluttered and strong grid used within Swiss design aesthetic resonated with the functional focus of the product.
I was also keen to ensure that the design would be accessible to a wide variety of users as the product would be for all sorts of people to use. This could be strong computer users to those less familiar, also possible accessing the content on various assistive technologies. In order to keep the design as accessible as possible I concentrated on contrast before colour palette, and maintaining white space to give everything breathing room.
User testing & iterative design
The final visual design concept was then converted into a Keynote presentation for the client to demonstrate to investors. The next step I would take to develop the concept further would be to take the prototype out to potential users (which really is anyone!) and ask for them to give feedback and to perform some key tasks. The results from at least 5 user tests would most likely suggest some key changes to implement to the next design iteration.