The User Centric Approach to the Creation of a Law Firm Intranet.

Creating a business critical intranet for your organization is a difficult task.  Like any project, there are many ways an intranet project can go awry.  In2009, the Standish Group reported that the failure or near failure of IT projects is almost certain in a high percentage of those projects:

The Standish Group’s just-released report, “CHAOS Summary 2009,” “This year’s results show a marked decrease in project success rates, with 32% of all projects succeeding which are delivered on time, on budget, with required features and functions” says Jim Johnson, chairman of The Standish Group, “44% were challenged which are late, over budget, and/or with less than the required features and functions and 24% failed which are cancelled prior to completion or delivered and never used.”

If we apply these statistics to intranet projects, the success seems dim at best.

With a nod to the Discovery channel’ s MythBusters, Bill Albert writes about busting myths often held in regards to online usability testing in his 4/9/2010 article, Debunking the Myths of Online Usability Testing in the Johnny Holland Magazine.  His focus of the article is online usability testing rather than the usability testing that can be done in person with one or more users but much of the content could be directed at either.

Usability testing goes hand in hand with user research or the needs analysis that must be done to create an intranet that meets the needs of the firm.  James Robertson writes about user research in his 2005 Step Two Designs article, Conducting intranet needs analysis.  While a bit dated in Internet time, it is still right on point about user research.

Law Firm Intranet Success Specifically

For more information on user research and usability testing for law firms, read a sample of the report, Creating a Successful Law Firm Intranet, written by us (Nina Platt, Laurie Southerton and Amy Witt) based on our experience in working with law firm intranets and published by the Ark Group.  The sample includes the Table of Contents, Executive Summary, Chapter 4: Research – Critical for Success, and the case study, Chapter 4: Research for Firm’s Intranet Design.

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