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Context of the project

LegalZoom's mission is to democratize law. Prior to LifePlan's creation 

Goal of the project - Re-imagine the estate plan application to ensure a greater percentage of customers who begin to create their estate plan. As more customers complete, this will be directly tied to our conversion rate.

Business opportunity - Estate planning every year contributes $30 million to LegalZoom's revenue, yet the total market spend for estate planning services each year in the U.S. is $5 billion. The estate planning product and service LegalZoom offers is lagging behind services offered by other companies, and as more of the estate planning market moves online, LegalZoom has the opportunity as market leader to grow from tens of millions to billions in annual revenue.

Role: Lead Product Designer

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Overview of what we will cover

A brief look at how we kept customers and solving their problems at the heart of the design

1

Research and define

Gain deeper understanding on the customer and the problems they are facing. This included data anlysis, surveys, customer interviews, creating personas for customers, and crafting journey maps for the customer.

2

Ideate & test

Using our research, create concepts that can address the customer's paint points, and offer solutions to their needs. And then put those concepts in front of potential customers rapidly.

3

Implement Design

When customers have questions during their journey, they do not know where to turn to get answers from trusted sources.

4

Results & Next steps

Gain deeper understanding on the customer and the problems they are facing. This included data anlysis, surveys, customer interviews, creating personas for customers, and crafting journey maps for the customer.

5

Challenges

We will cover what some challenges we encountered and how we overcame them.

But before we hop in,

let's talk constraints of the project

Or to put it another way, what allowed us to narrow our focus.

3 months

Our goal was to take the current web application for building estate plans, and use a 3 month roadmap to successfully address the project goal. 

Data

Our data constraint was two-fold. During our engineering process we did not attempt to re-design our data architecture given the time constraint. And second, our depth of data anlysis was constrained by how robust our database and reporting on the software is.

Documents

When all is said and done, the estate plan documents generated by the application inputs needed to yield the same minimum viable outputs for our legal fulfillment team who sends them to customers. 

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Our starting point

Research

During the first phase of the project we used a variety of research methods to understand the customer, detail their pain points, and identify opportunities to create innovate solutions for our customers.

Analyze our quantitative data and customer behavior

Using tools like qunatum metric and google analytics we analyzed key metrics for the current customer experience.

One key takeaway from our data analysis was that there are is far too much interaction cost to the user to complete their estate plan. In a 30 day sample, session time to complete an estate was 45 minutes.

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Customer Interviews & Transcripts

We leveraged dozens of customer interviews to understand what customer's motivations were for starting an estate plan and where they experienced pain points. As well as thousands of customer transcripts. Both of these methods allowed us to synthesize our understanding of Who, What, Where, When, How, and Why.

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Market Surveys

With our marketing insights team we looked into what solutions are customers looking for, What key variables factor into the decision to form an estate plan. And what are the motivational triggers to seeking out an estate plan.

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Journey mapping

Using customer interviews we mapped out the various stages of the customer journey, so we can understand where this experience falls in their broader experience. As well as chart pain points inside the planning and awaiting phases.

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Competitive analysis

To understand how other companies in the space are solving problems for their customers, and to understand what innovations are possible.

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What we learned about our customers

Why

Estate planning is important for our customers because first and foremost it offers them peace of mind that their families and/or loved ones will be taken care of in the ways that they wish. 

 

Who

Our estate plan customers are americans who range between the ages of  25 to 64. With the largest 2 cohorts being 35-44 and 55-64. The majority of our customers have families, and own a home. Customers come from all ranges of occupation, though those who travel or work in dangerous professions are more likely to create an estate plan.

What

People are coming to us to create an affordable and simple estate plan online. Given the alternatives are offline with an attorney for 5 to 10x the price. In their eyes this means a legally-binding online document.  Within the broader what of creating a final legally-binding document, there are ultimately a series of important decisions the customer has to make.

Where

The majority of customers complete this at home for 2 primary reasons. One, they often require discussing how to answer questions with their partner/spouse, or their loved ones. 

 

 

When

Our customers want to finish their estate plan quickly. 15 minutes or less was their bar. They want to finish in one session, but through our research we found it often took multiple sessions to complete a document. Some customers take up to a year to to decide which document is right for them before starting.

How

Our estate plan customers are americans who range between the ages of  

Our research yielded 3 main pain points

Through our various methods of research 3 themes kept reoccuring, customers were overhwelmed by complexity, they didn't have confidence in their decisions and they didn't know how to get in contact with with experts who could answer their questions.

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Complexity

In our research with customers, the difficulty and complexity at every step in the process was overwhelming and causing abandonment.

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Confidence

Complexity of the legal process, from beginning to end creates a lack of confidence in which product to purchase, how to most accurately answer for their situation. 70% of respondents in one of our interviews did not even have confidence they completed all the necssary steps.

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Finding expert help

When customers have run into questions during their journey, they do not know where to turn to get answers from trusted sources.

Ideating to address customer problems

Map out our current software's functionality

Why? The primary goal was to understand what legal outputs in the finished estate plan document were created by the customer's inputs. Given that we had the constraint to still produce legally-binding documents that our fulfillment team could deliver, it was essential to understand how the broader mechanisms worked.

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Sketching solutions to customer problems

Why: To ideate rapidly with cross-functional teamates and to allow our team to get feedback from company leadership, and other segment leaders. Lastly, it allowed us to start with more broad solutions before narrowing down.

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Illustrating the user journey

Why: To allow the engineering team to run in parrallel with a hackathon to create a new application architecture that was more flexible and intelligent based on customer inputs. This way we could at the same time test some our riskiest user-centric assumptions.

User-flows

Key solutions to validate with customers

Though there were a myriad of obvious improvements to make in terms of accessibility, decreasing interaction cost, and simpicity of the process, there were 3 risky assumptions that we wanted to test separately with customers.

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Simple expectations. Obvious feedback.

In our research with customers, the difficulty and complexity at every step in the process was overwhelming and causing abandonment.

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Think & do for the customer

When possible, we will make recommendations, automate easy tasks, and go the extra mile to do some thinking on the customer's behalf - leveraging our robust network of attorneys, as well as our data on previously completed estate plans. All with the goal to simplify and expidite the experience.

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Expert help along the way

One of our strongest value propositions at LegalZoom is a nation-wide network of vetted attorneys. But customer's previously had no visible way to get into contact with them. So throughout the application we ensured high visibility of our attorneys, as well as ways to get in touch with them should the customer want additional help.

Rapidily testing solutions with customers

We used a high fidelity prototype with invision and 

Our solution to customer problems

Results from internal tests

Through our various methods of research 3 themes kept reoccuring, customers were overhwelmed by complexity, they didn't have confidence in their 

decisions and they didn't know how to get in contact with with experts who could answer their questions.

92% of respondents across devices found the new software 

In our research with customers, the difficulty and complexity at every step in the process was overwhelming. 

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23% decrease in session time

Complexity of the legal process, from beginning to end creates a lack of confidence in which product to purchase, how to most accurately answer for their situation. Customer's don't even have confidence in whether they have completed all necessary steps.

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12 point increase in NPS

When customers have run into questions during their journey, they do not know where to turn to get answers from trusted sources.