Casebase: Case View
I helped design a custom CRM from June 2016 to April 2018. This is the first part in a two-part case study.
For confidentiality, I've changed the names of the client, their product, and my teammates.
Orin and Schuster is a law firm in San Francisco who wants to serve more clients while staying small. They began building a CRM in 2012 to help them work more efficiently.
Schuster still relied on spreadsheets and email in 2016 because Casebase, their custom CRM, only supported a quarter of their team.
I worked with Casebase's product owner and two remote developers.
As the team's Product Designer, I was responsible for research, prototyping, and presenting designs for feedback. I also wrote specs docs, verified the developers' work, and prioritized our backlog.
Schuster finds, qualifies, and retains hundreds of clients in each lawsuit. If a Manufacturer's products have harmed enough clients, Schuster can litigate and pursue a settlement.
Each Schuster team member had one of four key job roles, and worked on as many as four separate steps in this workflow.
Also, each of them helped with many lawsuits at once.
Two main themes held back the firm's productivity.
1. Info was siloed between two apps
Intake Specialists and Attorneys used two separate apps — Casebase and Microsoft Sharepoint — to track their clients' medical history. Melanie had to open two apps to understand one person's story, and she had to do this for hundreds of people.
2. People needed workarounds to get usable data
Melanie and Eleanor exported their data to Excel spreadsheets, where they then used pivot tables to workaround a poorly-designed database structure. They repeated this process regularly to work with the latest data.
The Schuster team could work more efficiently if Casebase was their single source of truth. This would eliminate the inefficiencies of sharing information, context-switching, and re-creating pivot tables every week.
Exploring a new Case View
I sketched new layouts for the Case View, aiming for a robust layout to handle the widely varying complexity of different lawsuits.
A three-column layout seemed most promising, as...
Tabs gave each teammate a focused view on their work
Two columns could be used for role-independent data
There was room to add future, unknown features
I wireframed this layout, retrofitting the legacy Case View with real data to establish column widths and a basic set of font sizes.
While the Case View now displayed information more efficiently, it was overwhelmed by blue links.
By relying on layout, rather than color, we could indicate that a data property could be edited:
Then, I defined a hierarchy of buttons and text buttons. This gave us a range of emphasis for data-dense views.
The result was a foundation for a new Case View. Here's the tab we built for Eric and his team of Intake Specialists.
Bringing Attorneys into Casebase
We created an Attorney Review tab to help Melanie quickly understand her client's medical history, even when that client used products from different companies.
By combining this and the Reports View, Melanie no longer had to open eight spreadsheets at a time to do her work.
Bringing the Finance Manager into Casebase
Eleanor made sure everyone got paid during successful settlement, but the view she relied on in Sharepoint made it challenging for her to find what she needed.
By interviewing Eleanor, we learned that a settlement award flows from the Manufacturer to two main groups of people — the client and the attorneys.
We designed a Settlements tab to reflect this money flow, organizing data into columns making it easier for Eleanor to scan the page.
We also organized each section's form fields into modals, which...
Housed interactions for adding and deleting dynamic lists
Focused the Settlements tab on available data
Organized the remaining data with bold headings and subheadings
Thanks to these changes, Eleanor was able to work without constantly switching between Microsoft Sharepoint and Casebase.
More case studies, coming soon
We also helped the Schuster team find the insights they need, without having to wrestle with Microsoft Excel.