Research-driven UX Design
January 2017–March 2018
Principal UX Designer
What is LawPay?
An AffiniPay product, LawPay is a delightfully simple digital payments solution tailored specifically for the needs of law firms and trusted by 50,000 attorneys.
LawPay merchants are typically solo attorneys, paralegals, legal assistants, bookkeepers, law clerks, legal secretaries, and office managers for whom managing payments can burn valuable customer time.
The LawPay app was rebranded as CPA Charge and AffiniPay for public accountants, association treasurers, association executives, etc. Together, all three apps moved payments through the AffiniPay payment gateway.
The LawPay user interface was dated, disorganized, and suffered from many usability and navigation issues.
Tasked with improving the product’s design and working with the team to research what should be built next to meet customer needs and foster growth. The CTO, CEO, and Architect had strong opinions on what features to add but needed a lot of help validating the priority and design of product features.
I was tasked with improving the product’s design and working with the team to research what should be built next to meet customer needs and foster growth, featuring several key elements.
User Interface Design Refresh
Before the user interface design was refreshed.
After the user interface design was refreshed.
Inclusive Visual Design
Updates to the user interface included an energetic color palette, inspired and extended from core brand colors.
The color palette was designed to be both visually appealing and with accessibility in mind. Color contrast helps everyone see the differences between functional components, words, and images. Color contrast also helps partially or completely color-blind users see differences.
Consistency & clarity in a design system reduces the time customers invest in learning how to use a product.
"LawPay is very easy to use, clean and modern. I appreciate it, the legal industry isn’t known for that."
— Solo Attorney and LawPay Merchant
Personas are important and serve as an effort to keep the end-user front and center in our thinking when making assumptions. Rather than spending months doing research, we spent a few hours creating proto-personas.
When this process began, AffiniPay had zero customer persona documented, only scattered research and limited marketing/buyer information.
“We had very limited data. Looking back, Russ’s impact was huge. I have no idea what we would’ve done without his user research.”
— AffiniPay Senior Software Engineer
User Interviews & Resulting Personas
• Periodic design validation with carefully selected participants provided opportunities to refine proto-personas through continuous learning.
• Customer development research on needs, goals, and expectations informed strategic product design decisions during engineering sprints.
• Interviewed 10 solo attorney participants, five attorneys from small law practice participants, and two attorneys from medium-size law firms.
Insights from User Interviews
• Interviews and research can generate lots of raw data. Following each interview session, a brief report was written documenting findings and noting key insights for proto-persona development.
• Following seventeen usability interview requests, feedback and findings were counted, grouped into themes, and ranked by severity in tabular format. This approach focused attention on the most frequently mentioned requests with the highest level of perceived severity.
• When reviewing research patterns began to emerge, these patterns were documented in a usability report and presented to stakeholders.
Supporting User Needs & Goals
Research showed that the majority of LawPay merchant needs would be best met with the following:
• Enhanced Quick Bill feature
• Recurring Payments
• Improvements to merchant statements