Statewide Website Assessment: Report for the Justice Community

This report summarizes the findings of a 2016 evaluation of the websites run through the US Legal Services Commission. Evaluators looked at sites using a set of 63 usability criteria that spanned nine focus areas: ease of navigation, accessibility, visual design and iconography, plain language, content presentation, mobile friendliness, community engagement, language access, and user support.

High level findings from the project include:

  1. "Sites that used visual design purposefully to enhance usability performed best.
  2. Information density and content presentation was a consistent challenge.
  3. The customization available to Drupal-based sites allowed them to produce more usable experiences.
  4. A future system of templates should deliver a streamlined experience for end users, while removing the guesswork for website managers about how to implement a great user experience.

Key opportunities identified by the evaluators:

  1. "Balance flexibility and structure in site templates.
  2. Take a mobile-first approach.
  3. Modernize visual and interaction design to enhance usability.
  4. Guide users through workflows and offer next steps.
  5. Improve readability, translation, and organization of content.
  6. Support multiple navigation strategies for alternate methods of interacting with content.
  7. Connect navigation elements to page content
  8. Provide contextual help.
  9. Collect and analyze direct user feedback

The Legal Services Corporation has also launched a website that reports on this evaluation and gives practical guidance to website managers on how to improve user experience.