MoJ – get help with child arrangements

I was involved in this project for a period of 4 months. During that time I worked closely with a content designer, user researcher and a team of developers. Together we worked to create a series of screens for the Ministry of Justice to help separating parents explore all their resolution options.

Despite legal aid being cut we were still seeing many parents (often self litagating) choosing the court route to resolve their dispute. The MoJ were seeing plenty of cases that needn’t have been in a court, but could’ve instead been resolved more effecively using a different method.

Over the course of several months we liaised with charities, educational bodies and other governmental departments. It was important that we understood the resolution options available for parents and children, along with the emotional toll that they could be subjected to throughout their journey.

Our aim was to create a tool so parents could make a fair and informed decision as to which option was right for them.

Early sketches from the landing page and the detail page

Initial sketch Initial sketch

From the first round of testing it became clear that parents liked bullet points which helped to quickly explain the key points of an option which had been previously unknown to them (for example: Mediation).

Cost was also very important to the users, but some were confused with the symbols.

Alongside each summary was a ‘is this for you?’ box. The content of these boxes briefly picked out some pro’s and con’s for that particular resolution option.

Parents found these useful, but they often missed them altogether.

Screengrab of the Mediation summary from our 1st prototype

Mediation summary from our 1st prototype

For the next round of testing we merged the bullet points with the ‘is this for you?’ box to create a single ‘pro’s and con’s’ piece of content. This tested very well.

The pro’s and con’s box tested very well

The pro’s and con’s box

Refine our ideas

Based on what we’d learnt to date we began by identifying aspects of the tool that performed well in user research. We then brainstormed and explored high level concepts which could meet the refined user needs.

Brainstorming some high level concepts

Ideation sketch 1 Ideation sketch 2 Ideation sketch 3

Three concepts emerged during the ideation. They were Filter by theme, Shortlisting and Sentence builder.

Concept 1: filter by theme

Users have the ability to filter the content by things like 'Cost' 'Legally binding', etc. and as well as filtering the options available content related to the filter would be highlighted or surfaced from the content pages.

Users select the statements that they'd like to receive guidance on and the content in the guide updates.

User's select what they'd like guidance on

Filter by theme concept

Concept 2: sentence builder

Users build a statement comprising of three parts (goal, what info and emotion) and the content in the guide updates.

The goal would help frame the content shown and could trigger relevant content. The info part (of which multiple could be selected) would trigger different sections of content.

We imagined the emotions section would need more exploration, one idea was it could trigger different tones of voice (for example, worried and stressed might have a more reassuring tone).

User's build a sentence to find what they'd like guidance on

Sentence builder concept

Concept 3: shortlisting

Users shortlisted subjects they were interested in contextually from the summary cards. This would create a 'reading list' of sorts containing all the subjects they’d picked.

User's shortlisted the subjects they were interested in

Shortlisting concept

These designs were guerrilla tested and ‘filter by theme’ was picked to be taken to a research lab for further testing with parents.

The beta version went live in July 2017 with current feedback showing that nearly 90% of users on the site now "know what to do next".

View the live beta site