"Interestingly, design thinking is a lot about design feeling and design doing!"
Viveca Fallenius, founder of Gentle Rev
WHAT'S LEGAL DESIGN ANYWAY?
Gentle Rev's FAQ
WHAT IS DESIGN THINKING?
Design thinking is a creative process used to solve problems and it focuses on empathy for the user. It can be used to solve any problem. Think of it like a toolkit with exercises, mindsets and a process.
WHAT IS LEGAL DESIGN?
Legal design is when we apply design thinking in the legal sector. It is a tool to make legal products, services and processes accessible and user-friendly. You can redesign contracts so that they become understandable to non-lawyers. You can also redesign the way law firms and legal departments work.
Legal design is a burgeoning area in the intersection of law and innovation and it has quickly gained traction.
If you're curious, you can learn more at workshops and inspirational events on legal design, specifically designed ;-) for law firms, legal departments and students.
WHY IS DIVERSITY A THING IN LEGAL DESIGN?
Diversity plus creativity - that's where you find magic! Because the design process is about coming up with new ideas, a group of like-minded lawyers won't do the trick. Instead, invite in your uncle and the new assistant to the brainstorming session to benefit from different perspectives and generate ideas. Harvard Business Review agrees.
WHAT'S THE LINK BETWEEN DESIGN AND LEGAL TECH?
Legal design helps make a legal tech product truly relevant and desirable for the user. It's about more than the u ser interface and graphic design; it is about the essence of the product and making sure you really know the needs of the user when developing and launching a product. Sounds worthwhile?
WHAT'S THE MAGIC OF LEGAL DESIGN?
We like to talk about the magic of legal design. Here are some example of what it can lead to:
Customers feel empowered, safe and respected.
Customers are attracted to and trust your brand when you are transparent.
Customers no longer feel anxious and powerless when signing agreements.
If you are a lawyer, your relationship to your clients will improve.
DID YOU MENTION THE GDPR AND EU'S PLATFORM REGULATION?
Yes. There is a clear trend towards requiring companies to have simple and understandable terms and conditions and privacy policies. The privacy legislation in the EU (GDPR) requires it. And EU's Platform Regulation too. Legal design is an excellent way to make sure you comply with the legislation.
ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS OF LEGAL DESIGN?
Oh yes! The design thinking process helps you cultivate power skills like empathy, listening, collaboration, creativity and adopting a growth mindset. These skills are vital if we want to redesign our lives and our society. Design thinking may in fact, through its own generative power, influence your life and business in many ways. Also, letting empathy serve as a catalyst for creativity and change is just a beautiful thing in a world suffering from a severe lack of empathy. How about that for side effects! Bring it on!
WHY CARE ABOUT LEGAL DESIGN?
You will love design thinking once you realize what an efficient tool for to make meaningful change. Traditionally, the legal sector is slow when it comes to embracing change, often the last ones to the party (phone and emails were first seen with suspicion). As a result, a lot of practices that have stayed in place only serve a few (billing per hour, all nighters, contracts that only lawyers understand...). Legal design is the chance to make meaningful change so that the people and business can really thrive.
WHAT'S UP WITH EMPATHY?
We talk a lot about empathy - the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. Empathy is essential in the design thinking process. Only when you truly understand the feelings of the user can you find a desirable solution. It's about putting yourself in his or her shoes and imagining what they really want. So in a way there's a lot of design feeling going on!
WHO ARE WE DESIGNING FOR?
We can design for pretty much anyone! Design thinking is human-centered meaning it is designed with empathy for a user. The user is the one with a problem you want to solve. It could be the lawyer or a lay person like the clients of a law firm or a person charged with a crime.