Challenge: designing for the legal Tech

I’m one for challenges, I love to try new things out and experiment. I’m a UX-UI designer and I’ve worked for a couple of very different start-ups those past few years.

I was asked by a client to design for GDPR and I said yes. Although, I must admit I had no idea of what GDPR was about and I rapidly hit a bone. 8 months ago, back then almost no one had a clear idea of what to expect from GDPR.

Each step of the way, I came face to face with a new challenge.

Understanding the jargon

At first, I had to make sense of the GDPR which is very blurry and full of legal jargon. I was quite shocked to discover during our user interviews that many lawyers also found it very difficult. GDPR seemed to be the keyword that made anyone freak or enter a state of intensive denial.

Yes, your business has personal data!

Then through the design process, I came to a better understanding of it all. To the point where I was GDPR fluent. Damn this period felt like we were on track…until user tests on the prototype showcased that our users/prospects had incredible difficulties despite an intuitive structure. The words were like invisible walls which triggered a white page syndrome for most of them.

We conducted the user tests on three groups of 5, most people have had a prior exposure to GDPR ( news, e learning, short courses …):

  • Group 1 : lawyers
  • Group 2: PME (medium size businesses)
  • Group 3: consultants

Break the legal mindset

We had to change the words, that was a sure thing at that point. But then we realised that our problem was much much bigger.The GDPR jargon had blend into us and modified our mindset and mind structure. Beware if you are designing for leg-tech , it progressively changes the way you think in the most imperceptible ways, this is a big risk if your users are not all legal professionals.

So we stopped everything and went back to the basics. The next challenge was about going back to a normal user mindset. Our aim wasn’t to digitalise a paper process but make it possible for businesses with no prior GDPR knowledge to be GDPR compliant in no time. So we turned everything around by:

  • asking only simple questions human being can answer (eg:what software do you use?)
  • hiding all the legal logic so that users NEVER see it
  • using real plain everyday words and ZERO jargon

The results of our latest user tests with this new version validates the design. Average time spent to create the GDPR ledger is cut by 50%.


  1. Bryant

    Thanks, it is quite informative

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