The best solutions come about when developers understand and empathise with users
This article was produced in partnership with LexisNexis.
Jacqueline So of NZ Lawyer sat down with LexisNexis customer discovery product manager Kat Strachan to talk about what it means to have the consumers at the core of legaltech product development.
The delivery of a good legaltech solution only happens when the customers are at the heart of the development process, and this is a mindset that is always top of mind for LexisNexis.
“Part of customer centricity is that you've got to spend a lot of time focusing on the customer and the problem space before you even start thinking about a solution,” Strachan tells NZ Lawyer. “You can't decide what the solution is going to be until you have a very good picture of what the challenge is, why it's a challenge, and what the cause and the effect of the challenges are.”
Thus, Strachan spends much of her time stepping into the shoes of different kinds of users, whether it’s a first-time user, a casual user or someone who engages with a LexisNexis platform daily but has a complex task to complete, in order to identify areas where the platform can better serve users.
“Everybody goes in with a diverse set of needs. They're trying to achieve a different task; they have different levels of familiarity; and they have different levels of technical ability,” she explains. “If you don't understand and empathise with your customer, no solution you design is going to be as good as if you’d spent that time really engaging with who your customer is and what they need.”
In order to have a full picture of what customers are looking for in the market, Strachan employs a variety of processes, including surveys, in-house data, in-depth discussions and diary studies to understand what a day is like for those in the legal profession. She also encourages interactivity with customers through design sprints and workshops that enable participants to glean insights through games and exercises.
“We spend a lot of time keeping our eye on the trends in the legal market. The good thing about doing quantitative and qualitative customer discovery is that we take the anecdote out of it and we put data behind it,” Strachan says.
Customer discovery has contributed significantly to where LexisNexis has placed its focus – tikanga Māori, for instance.
“That's always been a fundamental part of the New Zealand legal system, but it is becoming more and more on-topic – people are interested in seeing more content and more representation,” Strachan says.
To this end, LexisNexis is aiming to make content available in both English and te reo Māori. The company is also looking to encourage representation in its innovation panel, a collection of people with an interest in tech and in helping to develop new solutions for the profession, that helps guide LexisNexis’ direction when it comes to improving on platforms.
“The panel is open to anybody who's interested. We would love to see it be completely representative of the New Zealand legal market – that's very much a goal that we're working towards,” Strachan says.
Kindly contact [email protected] if you would like to participate in the Innovation Panel.
Kat Strachan is the product manager of customer discovery at LexisNexis NZ. She describes her role as “essentially to make sure that our customers are at the heart of all of our decision making”. She interacts with customers through interviews, workshops, and surveys. She also oversees LexisNexis’ Innovation Panel, the company’s customer discovery/customer innovation panel.
Strachan took on her current role midway through 2021. While she mainly focuses on the New Zealand market, she also gets involved in initiatives across the Pacific business unit. In five years with LexisNexis, she has recorded stints in product management, working with the company’s solutions. She also logged time in a customer success role in LexisNexis’ London branch.