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LIMBS: Integrating Legal Operations with a Website-Based Litigation Solution

introduction

LIMBS, also known as the Legal Information Management and Briefing System is a website created by the Indian Department of Legal Affairs under the Ministry of Law and Justice. Its main purpose is to handle cases involving the Union of India (UoI). LIMBS provides a platform that enables users to store, organize and retrieve legal cases and related documents. Moreover, it simplifies tasks. Diligently records all actions taken. This website-based application was carefully developed to oversee the litigation process from the viewpoint of the Central Government. Its primary goals include bringing predictability to proceedings, promoting transparency and fairness, reducing arbitrariness and ensuring inclusivity. Ultimately LIMBS aims to improve efficiency and transparency, in the litigation procedures of the Union of India. The website's design focuses on making it easier for users to track case progress while strictly adhering to all protocols.

Objective

LIMBS, the Legal Information Management and Briefing System, offers several key features-

  • Centralized Monitoring-LIMBS serves as a central platform for overseeing and handling legal cases and documents related to the Union of India's litigation. This promotes better coordination and information sharing among various government ministries, departments, and attached offices.
  • Standardized Templates-The web-based application uses standardized templates with clearly defined fields for storing and categorizing legal cases and associated documents. This standardization ensures uniform administrative practices across the entire chain of Union of India's litigation.
  • Efficient Search and Retrieval-LIMBS incorporates efficient search capabilities, making it easy to retrieve information about different types of courts, tribunals, and arbitration cases from a single database.
  • Information Sharing- The website serves as a valuable platform for the dissemination of information, resources, publications, reports, and guidelines related to the Digital India program. Stakeholders gain access to valuable insights and knowledge, facilitating their engagement with the program-
  • InclusivityLIMBS brings together all stakeholders involved in the litigation process on a single unified platform. This includes users, Nodal Officers, advocates, and other relevant personnel, fostering improved collaboration and communication.
  • Transparency and Proactivity-The website emphasizes transparency by providing 24x7 access to monitor court cases. It encourages a proactive approach to managing litigation, leading to more effective and efficient legal processes.
  • Nationwide Implementation-LIMBS has been implemented across 55 Ministries of the Government of India, their departments, and attached offices. This extensive reach ensures broad coverage of Union of India's litigation and maximizes the benefits of the application.
  • Ease of Access-LIMBS is designed to be user-friendly and easily accessible. It provides an innovative online tool for monitoring court cases, allowing users to navigate the application effortlessly.

Target Audience

The intended users of LIMBS encompass individuals engaged in the Union of India's litigation procedures, including users, who actively participate in the litigation process, nodal officers, tasked with overseeing litigation matters within specific ministries or departments, and advocates, legal professionals representing the Union of India in court.

The user goals of LIMBS are as follows-

  • Tracking Case ProgressUsers aim to conveniently monitor the advancement of their cases within the system, keeping them informed about the status and developments.
  • Accessing Legal DocumentsUsers seek easy access to essential legal documents, enabling them to retrieve necessary information and files related to their cases.
  • Managing Administrative ProceduresUsers aspire to efficiently handle administrative tasks associated with their cases, ensuring timely and organized processing.
  • Collaborating with StakeholdersUsers aim to collaborate effectively with other stakeholders involved in the litigation process, fostering communication and cooperation for successful case management.

The Challenge

Enhancing the website's user experience involves tackling various obstacles that users might face. These challenges encompass streamlining the search process, improving search flexibility, enhancing feedback and information provision, ensuring data accuracy and consistency, optimizing mobile responsiveness, prioritizing accessibility, and refining the user interface for greater intuitiveness.

Research Phase

  • Current Information architecture
  • Discuss the existing information architecture of the website or platform, including its structure, content organization, and navigation pathways.

  • Overview of the Primary Flow on the Website
  • Explain how users currently navigate through the website or platform, highlighting any bottlenecks, drop-off points, or areas requiring improvement.

Usability Study Findings

The UX audit and website evaluation checklist provide a comprehensive overview of the various aspects of the website that need improvement. Here are some summarized insights and recommendations based on the findings-

Homepage
  • The landing page needs to be redesigned for clarity and should avoid unexpected redirects. A clear and concise introduction to the website's purpose and features should be provided.
  • Inconsistent Homepage Banner- The homepage banner should align with the website's purpose to avoid confusion. It should clearly communicate the website's main functions and benefits.
  • Inconsistent Header Design- Ensure consistent header design throughout the website for better navigation and visual coherence.
  • Pixelated Swachh Bharat Logo- Replace the pixelated logo with a high-quality version to enhance the professional look of the website.
  • Misaligned Header Options- Properly align header options to improve the overall visual appeal and usability of the website.
  • Ineffective Language Selection- Make the language selection feature more prominent and user-friendly.
  • Pixelated Image in Banner- Replace pixelated images with high-quality images to enhance the visual appeal.
  • Non-Intuitive Navigators- Improve the design and intuitiveness of banner navigation elements.
  • Inconsistent Text Alignment and Spacing- Maintain consistent text alignment and spacing throughout the website for better readability.
  • Outdated UI Design- Update the UI design in the "News and Highlights" section for a more modern and user-friendly look. Allow direct PDF downloads from the website.
  • Captcha Validation Issue- Fix the captcha validation issue to prevent user frustration.
  • Inefficient Placement of "Forgot Password?" Feature- Ensure the "Forgot Password?" feature is positioned logically for ease of use.
  • Unclear Section on Homepage- Categorize and represent files clearly on the homepage to improve user understanding and access.
  • Pixelated Logo Images- Replace pixelated logos with high-quality versions in the footer.
User Login
  • Interface Overload- Simplify the login interface by providing clear options for different user types.
  • Streamline login options to reduce confusion and improve the effectiveness of CTAs.
  • Information Redundancy- Display only relevant login options to avoid redundancy.
  • Confusing Interaction- Present login options in a clear and organized manner.
Landing Page After Login
  • Add an accessibility bar for users with disabilities.
  • Header Alignment and Design- Improve header alignment and design for a more professional appearance.
  • Positioning of Greetings and Logout Option- Make greetings and logout options more visible and accessible.
  • Intuitive Alert Dialog Boxes- Redesign alert dialog boxes for better user comprehension.
  • Confusing User Interface- Simplify the interface and layout.
  • Lack of Active Page Highlight- Add a visual indicator for the active page in the header.
Dashboard Page
  • Visual Design of Advanced Search Button- Improve the visual design of the "Advanced Search" button for better user recognition.
  • Cluttered Micro Dashboards- Simplify the dashboard by reducing the number of micro dashboards and improving data visualization.
  • Clear "Go Back" Option- Provide a clear "Go Back" option for users to return to the previous state.
  • Consistency of Clear Button Functionality- Ensure that the "Clear" button's functionality is consistent with user expectations.
  • Text Link Visibility on Cause List Page- Enhance the visibility and usability of text links on the Cause List page.
My Court Case Page
  • Misaligned Table and Excessive White Spaces- Correct the table alignment and remove excessive white spaces for a balanced layout.
  • Cluttered Action Buttons- Improve the spacing and layout of action buttons to avoid accidental clicks.
  • Ambiguous "Close" Button- Redesign the "Close" button for clarity.
  • Non-Clickable "Update" Button- Improve the visual design of the "Update" button to make it clear that it's clickable.
Updation
  • Table and Button Spacing- Fix spacing issues within the "Update CNR using Registration Number" page.
  • Misaligned Table and Content- Correct misalignment issues on the "Advocate Transferred Cases" page.
MIS Report
  • Spacing and Placement of Elements- Improve the spacing and placement of elements on the "Advocate Wise Report" page.
  • Clickable Visual Cues and Scroll Icons- Enhance visual cues for clickable elements and increase the size of scroll icons on the "Status Wise Report" page.
  • Page Heading and Navigation Context- Add a distinct page heading and navigation context on the SQL Report page.
Member List Page
  • Usability Issues- Address issues related to search functionality and loading icons.
MSI Report
  • Overlapping Elements- Fix layout problems in the "Statement of Disputes Not Referred for Resolution Under AMRCD" section.
CNR Number/Tribunals Reports
  • Clear Heading and Text Hint- Provide a clear heading and text hint for the "Search Case Details Using CNR Number" page.
  • Footer Misalignment- Ensure consistent footer alignment.
Transfer Of Case
  • Spacing and Misalignment- Address spacing and misalignment issues on the "Request Transfer Case" page.
AMRCD
  • Layout Problems- Improve the arrangement of elements on the "Statement of Disputes Not Referred for Resolution Under AMRD" page.
Arbitration
  • Table Layout and Text Size- Enhance table layout and increase text size for better readability.
Forward to eOffice (Dola)
  • Text Size and Compressive Table- Increase text size and improve the table layout on the "Forward to eOffice" case page.
  • Non-Functional Receipt Search- Resolve the issue causing the "Receipt Search" page to become unresponsive.
Messaging
  • Unified Messaging Interface- Provide a unified messaging interface for better message management.
  • Placement Issue of Search Bar- Reconfigure the placement of the search bar and action button for consistency.
Cause List
  • Inconsistent UI- Revamp the high court cause list page for improved usability and consistency.
Email
  • Background and Footer Issues- Address the design problem with the background and footer.
FAB
  • Inconsistent Placement- Ensure consistent placement of elements on the "User Sends Message" page.
Bill
  • Ambiguous Action Icons- Clarify the purpose of action icons in the information table.

Users are encountering multiple pain points, including confusing navigation, pixelated images, inconsistent design, and usability issues. Clarity and consistency in design and layout are essential for improving user experience. Accessibility features, such as accessibility bars and proper heading structure, should be implemented. Visual cues and user guidance are lacking in various sections, leading to user confusion. Loading icons should be managed more effectively to prevent user frustration. Improving text link visibility and providing descriptive labels can enhance user interaction. The website needs a comprehensive redesign to address these issues and improve overall usability and user satisfaction.

Synthesizing Phase

With the insights gathered during the research phase, we have gained valuable understanding of the users' interactions and challenges while using the website of the Digital India Corporation. Building on this knowledge, we have now entered the Defining phase, where our aim is to deepen our comprehension and transform the research findings into practical design solutions. To maintain a user-centric approach, we have created personas that embody essential user archetypes-

User Persona 1- Legal Officer

Name- Priya Sharma Age- 35

Occupation- Legal Officer at the Ministry of Law and Justice

Experience- 10 years in legal affairs

Tech Savviness- Moderate

Background

Priya Sharma is a seasoned legal officer working at the Ministry of Law and Justice in India. She has a decade of experience in handling legal cases on behalf of the Union of India. Her primary responsibilities include monitoring the progress of court cases, accessing legal documents, and ensuring administrative procedures are efficiently managed. Priya is dedicated to her work and strives for transparency and efficiency in the litigation process.

Frustrations

Rajesh encounters several usability issues when using the LIMBS website. Firstly, he finds the homepage inconsistency and misleading banners confusing and time-consuming to navigate. The use of pixelated images, especially the Swachh Bharat logo, diminishes the website's professionalism, which is crucial when representing the government. Additionally, the poor visual design of elements like action buttons leads to potential confusion about their functionality. The cluttered micro dashboards in the dashboard section make it challenging for Rajesh to quickly access relevant information. Lastly, he faces difficulties in efficiently retrieving specific legal documents and tracking case progress due to inefficient search and navigation. These issues collectively impact Rajesh's user experience on the website.

Needs and Goals-

Rajesh Mehta, a seasoned advocate representing the Union of India in court, has a critical need for the LIMBS website to offer a consistent and user-friendly interface. He seeks an interface that allows him to effortlessly navigate the platform, access legal documents with ease, and present a polished and professional image when advocating for the government's interests in legal proceedings. Rajesh's primary want is for the LIMBS website to provide him with efficient search and navigation functionalities, enabling rapid retrieval of specific legal documents, smooth tracking of case progress, and ensuring the government's legal interests are robustly protected in court proceedings. To meet these needs and wants, Rajesh is looking for solutions that eliminate homepage inconsistency and misleading banners, replace pixelated images with high-quality ones, ensure clear and consistent interface designs, redesign the dashboard section for improved organization, and incorporate efficient search features. His goal is a user-centric, professional, and highly efficient platform to enhance his role as an advocate for the Union of India in legal proceedings.

Mapping User Journeys and Extracting Insights

Priya Sharma, a Legal Officer at the Ministry of Law and Justice, embarks on her user journey as she lands on the LIMBS website's homepage. Her initial experience is marred by the confusion of the homepage layout and unexpected redirection, causing frustration. Additionally, she encounters pixelated images, particularly the Swachh Bharat logo, which affects the website's professionalism and her first impression. As she continues her journey to access legal cases and documents, monitor case progress, and manage administrative tasks, Priya finds the website's navigators non-intuitive, making it challenging to move seamlessly between sections. Further aggravating her experience, the captcha validation problem on the login page often necessitates refilling the form multiple times, leading to more frustration. Inside the dashboard section, Priya faces difficulties due to cluttered micro dashboards, hindering her efficient access to information. Her desired outcome is a user-friendly and professional platform that streamlines her workflow. Priya seeks solutions that address the confusing homepage, pixelated images, improve navigational intuitiveness, and resolve the captcha validation issue, all contributing to a more efficient and enjoyable user journey on the LIMBS platform.

Certainly, here's the complete set of user story, problem statement, and hypothesis statement for Priya Sharma based on her needs for the LIMBS website:

Priya’s User Story

As a seasoned Legal Officer at the Ministry of Law and Justice, I want a user-friendly and efficient experience on the LIMBS website. I need to easily navigate through the platform, access legal cases and documents, monitor case progress, and manage administrative tasks without disruptions or confusion. Additionally, I expect the LIMBS website to maintain a professional image with high-quality images and pixel-free logos. This is essential for me to confidently represent the Union of India in court proceedings and uphold the government's credibility. I desire a solution that addresses the confusing homepage, replaces pixelated images, improves navigational intuitiveness, and resolves the captcha validation issue, thereby enhancing my overall user experience on the LIMBS platform."

Framing challenges and hypothesis

Having examined Priya Sharma's journey as a legal officer using the LIMBS website, we can now focus on crafting a problem statement that succinctly captures the issues she encounters on the platform.

Problem Statement

Priya, a seasoned Legal Officer at the Ministry of Law and Justice, encounters several usability issues while using the LIMBS website. Firstly, the homepage is confusing, leading to unexpected redirection and a negative first impression. The homepage banner is inconsistent and misleading, making it challenging to understand the website's purpose. Additionally, pixelated images, like the Swachh Bharat logo, affect the site's professionalism. The navigators are non-intuitive, hampering easy navigation between sections. Priya is frustrated with the captcha validation problem on the login page, often needing to refill the form multiple times. Lastly, the cluttered micro dashboards in the dashboard section hinder her efficient access to information. These issues collectively diminish the user experience on the website.

Hypothesis Statement

If we implement user-centric design improvements, including a clear and straightforward homepage, high-quality images, intuitive navigation elements, and a streamlined captcha validation process, then Priya's experience on the LIMBS website will become more user-friendly, efficient, and professional. This will enable her to easily access legal cases and documents, monitor case progress, and manage administrative tasks, ultimately enhancing her ability to represent the Union of India effectively in court proceedings while upholding the government's credibility.

In the subsequent sections, we embark on a creative journey to translate these observations into tangible design solutions. By fostering collaborative ideation, engaging in thoughtful discussions, and maintaining productive interactions with relevant stakeholders, our aim is to enhance Priya's experience on the LIMBS website. We are committed to crafting user-centric improvements that align with Priya's role as a Legal Officer, ultimately ensuring a more efficient and user-friendly platform for her and other users with similar needs.

Ideation and Exploration Phase

The ideation phase is a crucial stage in any project, where research, brainstorming, and idea evaluation are conducted to generate and assess feasible, viable, and desirable concepts. Here's a brief explanation of each point-

  • Research: Gather data, analyze trends, market conditions, and user needs for project assessment and improvement.
  • Brainstorming: Collaborative, creative idea generation without judgment to encourage diverse concepts regardless of feasibility or viability.
  • Evaluate- Scrutinize generated ideas based on predetermined criteria like feasibility, viability, and desirability.
  • Feasibility Assessment- Evaluate ideas based on available resources, technology limitations, constraints, and risks for implementation determination.
  • Viability Assessment- Analyze market demand, revenue streams, costs, and sustainability to determine financial feasibility and goal alignment.
  • Desirability Evaluation- Assess ideas based on user needs, preferences, usability, and user experience for effective problem-solving.
  • Concept Generation- Research, brainstorming, and evaluation yield diverse concepts as potential pathways for development and refinement.
  • Advancement- Promising concepts meeting feasibility, viability, and desirability criteria are developed further for prototyping, testing, and implementation.

Overall, the ideation phase serves as a critical foundation for the project by generating a range of concepts and evaluating their potential, ensuring that only the most promising ideas are pursued further.

Solutions and Implementation

Outline the specific solutions proposed and implemented based on research findings, detailing design changes, content revisions, or technical modifications.

Validation and Conclusion

  • Usability Study Findings
  • Explain the process of conducting a validation usability study to assess the effectiveness of proposed solutions.

  • Presenting Validation through Analytical Data
  • Describe how the validation results were presented using analytical data to support conclusions and demonstrate improved usability and user experience.

  • Summarizing the Result of Our Intervention
  • Provide a summary of the outcomes and results of the project, emphasizing the positive changes made and the value brought to the target audience.

Our Thoughts and Next steps

Assess data, generate ideas, evaluate solutions, develop action plan, monitor progress, and implement improvements for enhanced usability and user experience. Provide an overview of challenges, research phase, synthesis phase, validation process, and final solutions implemented, highlighting improved usability and user experience.

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