When it comes to law department management software, every technology platform claims to provide a well-designed user experience. Given the complexity of the work and the number of professional roles involved, however, it’s clear that all platforms are not created equal. Linda Hovanec and Jeffrey Loden of Wolters Kluwer ELM Solutions discuss below what a winning user experience really looks like, and how Wolters Kluwer is raising the bar in workspace personalization and workflow efficiency...

MCC: What is a positive Enterprise Legal Management user experience like?

Hovanec: A positive ELM user experience is feeling like you’re not having an ELM experience at all – in other words, not feeling like you’re in this big, complex piece of software. Part of that is about bringing the work forward to the user – bringing the work that is most relevant to that user to them on a screen and simplifying the screen. There’s so much that, say, a legal ops professional is doing day to day, and we want to help them focus on the task at hand. We do that in numerous ways.

For instance, our technology integrates with multiple software tools, such as Microsoft Office, and brings the work to them in a place where they’re comfortable, like Microsoft Outlook. Contextually intelligent navigation is important – being able to easily move through screens and understand how to get where you’re going. Intuitiveness, of course, is critical. Part of that is just consistency. Some ELM tools just feel very patchy. You may be looking at a different experience on one page versus another page, while the goal is to make it feel like you’re moving through multiple different applications as if you’re just in one place. That’s how we go about creating a positive user experience.

Loden: The user experience needs to be natural, intuitive, familiar, simple. It needs to align with the way users work. We need to streamline the workflow; we need to eliminate task switching. With many systems, you have to jump from one place to the next. It makes it difficult for you to complete the task in one continuous process. You have to provide value at the point of use, so relevancy and usability of information are key to the interface. Then provide the user with the ability to act on that information. Obviously, our systems are there to collect data to provide insights for the business and its processes, so seamless and transparent integration with that system of record or the backend system is critical as well – but it needs to be transparent to the user.